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Because there’s more to life than bad news


A News MAGAZINE Worth Wading Through


• Students • Replicate UN p.7 • Driving the Goat Trail p.4 • Remembering the Interurban p. 3 • Affordable Housing p. 5 • Credit Card Shenanigans p. 2


January2009 Sandpoint High School students practice diplomacy, UN style.

See story by Marianne Love on page 7

Beleagured banks increasing costs on some of their most reliable credit card customers. See story by Trish Gannon on page 2

Herb Huseland on page 4


Jennifer Leo talks about public transit... in 1880, Angela Potts discusses affordable local housing efforts, Desire Aguirre & Trish Gannon introduce you to locals headed to DC for the inauguration and Kate Wilson explains how fish become art.

Departments Editorial


A News Magazine Worth Wading Through ~just going with the flow~ P.O. Box 151•Clark Fork, ID 83811•208.255.6957

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A ride on the “Goat Trail” from North to South. See story by

11.........Veterans 12-14.....Humor 15-17.....Staccato Notes 18.........Reviews 20-25.....Outdoors 27-28.....Sports 30-31.....Technology 32.........Education 33-35.....Wellness 36.........Faith 38-39.....Food 40-41.....Other Worlds 44-45.....Politics 54-55.....Obituaries


9 Trish Gannon Politically Incorrect 19 Sandy Comptons The Scenic Route 29 Marianne Love Love Notes 37 Ernie Hawks The Hawk’s Nest 43 Lou Springer Currents 49 Paul Rechnitzer Say What? 49 Hanna Hurt The Cheap Seats 56 Boots Reynolds From the Mouth of the River

Derik Walker and Jeff McLean stampede into area homes live on weekday mornings. See story on page 6. Cover created by Trish Gannon

STAFF Calm Center of Tranquility Trish

Ministry of Truth and Propoganda Jody Forest

Cartoonists Scott Clawson, Matt Davidson, Jim Tibbs

Regular Contributors

Desire Aguirre; Jinx Beshears; Laura Bry; Scott Clawson; Sandy Compton; Marylyn Cork; Dick Cvitanich; Duke Diercks; Mont. Sen. Jim Elliott; Idaho Rep. George Eskridge; Lawrence Fury; Dustin Gannon; Shaina Gustafson; Matt Haag; Ernie Hawks; Hanna Hurt; Herb Huseland; Emily Levine; Marianne Love; Thomas McMahon; Clint Nicholson; Kathy Osborne; Gary Payton; Angela Potts; Paul Rechnitzer; Boots Reynolds; Sandpoint Wellness Council; Rhoda Sanford; Lou Springer; Mike Turnlund; Tess Vogel; Michael White; Pat Williams; and Kate Wilson

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle Proudly printed at Griffin Publishing in Spokane, Wash. 509.534.3625 Contents of the River Journal are copyright 2009. Reproduction of any material, including original artwork and advertising, is prohibited. The River Journal is published the first of each month and approximately 8,000 copies are distributed in Sanders County, Montana, and Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties in Idaho. The River Journal is printed on 40 percent recycled paper with soy-based ink. We appreciate your efforts to recycle.

Check Your Credit Cards, You May Need A Bailout, Too by Trish Gannon The economy is in trouble. It’s been hard to miss that news as it’s the leading story almost every day in both television and print. As of December, American taxpayers have been committed to more than $4.6 trillion in loans to troubled businesses. And the line of those with their hands out is just beginning. Although banks have figuratively gone to the taxpayer with hat in hand to beg, “Please, sir, I want some more,” the role they seem to have cast for themselves recently

content/feb2008/db2008026_105146.htm) quoted William Ryan, a financial industry analyst at a New York-based research firm, as saying, “Congress has faulted creditcard companies for lack of transparency in raising rates. Bank of America is bringing it to a new level.” Now, most other companies are joining Bank of America in raising interest rates because they can... and because they need to. Sanjay Sakhrani, a senior vice president and analyst covering the specialty finance sector at Keefe Bruyette and Woods, says, “This is an industry Every day the taxpayer is being wide trend. As the economy asked to foot the bill for our weakens, this is a way for them biggest banks’ irresponsible lending to make up some of the losses.” practices. America’s banking giants can’t CNN Money reported they were be allowed to dig themselves out of the told by a Bank of America hole they are in by loading up American spokesperson that, “the bank’s fine-print provision for “market families with unfair fees and interest conditions” doesn’t refer to Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) the economy at large, but notes charges. that “the current situation might cause us to take a more in this Dickensen financial melodrama is more in keeping with the board members aggressive look at accounts.” Credit card companies often increase of the poor house when dealing with those rates even when you pay your bill on same taxpayers who are customers. Have you opened your credit card time; the universal default provision, for statement lately? Many have, only to be example, allows the company to change shocked to find the rates on their credit your terms at any time based on your use cards have climbed astronomically—in of other lines of credit. But CNNMoney reported that “when the Fed asked lenders some cases, more than 100 percent. Marie (not her real name) is a case in in its most recent quarterly survey why point. Marie pays her bills on time, always. they would tighten standards, 98 percent She pays more than the minimum payment of responders blamed a less favorable on her credit cards, and manages her money economic outlook. They’re saying, the wisely. This is reflected in her credit score, economy is getting bad, and our earnings which, at 740, means she scores better than are under pressure—so we can change half the country. That didn’t stop Bank of your account.” USA Today reports some of the same America from raising the APR on her credit card from 8 percent to 18 percent on her practices that created the banking crisis last statement. “I was shocked,” she said. are also behind a future crisis in credit “I’ve never paid any of my bills late. When I cards, a crisis companies are seeking to called to find out why they had raised it, their stave off with drastic increases. Most at fault? Securitization. “From 2003 to 2007, answer was basically because they could.” The next month, her Chase credit card seven of the largest issuers of credit cards packaged an increasing amount of card debt did the same thing. Marie is not alone, and this is not a into securities and sold them to investors, recent phenomenon. Back in February just as banks did with mortgages, a USA of this year Business Week, in an article TODAY review of banking records found,” on Bank of America’s practices entitled they reported. “When banks package and “A Card You Want to Toss” (www. sell card debt, they pass along to investors busines s week .c om / bwda il y/dn f la sh / some of the risk the debt will go bad. Yet,

New Credit Card Regulations By July of 2010, credit card companies will no longer be able to: • Apply rate increases to your current balances. • Place unfair time constraints on payments. A payment could not be deemed late unless the borrower is given a reasonable period of time, such as 21 days, to pay. • Apply payments to the lowestinterest charge on your account. • Raise your interest rate based on late payments to other bills (the so-called ‘universal default’ rule). • Change your terms without 45 days notice. • Place too-high fees for exceeding the credit limit solely because of a hold placed on the account. • Unfairly compute balances in a computing tactic known as doublecycle billing. • Unfairly add security deposits and fees for issuing credit or making it available. • Make deceptive offers of credit. banks often get to pocket much of the profit from rate and fee increases on those accounts. Imposing higher fees on more accounts—without a comparable rise in risk—lets banks raise revenue and keep profits up, at customers’ expense.” These practices have not gone unnoticed by federal regulators, which may be why more and more “good customers” are seeing changes in their rates at the worst possible time; companies are enacting these increases while they still can. The Treasury Department’s Office of Thrift Supervision, which oversees and regulates certain savings institutions, along with the Federal Reserve (oversight of banks) and Continued on page 11

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The Electric Glide Could Sandpoint’s former streetcar line hold the key to our future?

by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley, Ding, ding, ding went the bell Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings, From the moment I saw him, I fell. (--from The Trolley Song by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine, 1944) The songwriters had it right. There is a certain element of romance to good, reliable public transportation. To those of you who would never put the words “romance” and “public transportation” in the same sentence, I say, “Where’s your vision, o ye of limited imagination?” The first thing you need to know about me is that I was born in the wrong era. Yes, I appreciate indoor plumbing and WiFi just as much as the next person, but in many ways I wear the twenty-first century a little uncomfortably, like a wool sweater that feels soft when you put it on in the morning, but starts scratching you around the neck by mid-afternoon. I’m pretty sure that I’m here on loan from the Edwardian era and will need to go back eventually, so I spend a fair amount of time scanning old

newspapers for the news of the day. I’m telling you this so you’ll understand that, when faced with a problem, I tend to look toward the past for a solution. The second thing you need to know is that I’m not a huge fan of the automobile. I’m grateful to my car for getting me where I need to go, especially since I live a good distance from such life-sustaining elements as pad thai and zillion-calorie coffee drinks. But I’m really not the most cool-headed of drivers, especially when I’m stuck on Pine Street behind a truck full of cows, or jerking along First Avenue with one eye cocked toward the pedestrians who loiter on the curb without actually crossing (you know who you are). If I could just leave the car at home and buzz around town on some form of public transportation, believe me,

I’d be the first in line at the bus stop/depot/ hovercraft pad. And I’m sure my fellow drivers would be all the happier for it. So I’m a big fan of public transportation, and I appreciate the efforts already in place to provide public transportation for Bonner County. The NICE bus is... well, nice, but it’s limited in scope. The taxis can only do so much. I applaud groups like the Sandpoint Transition Initiative that are looking at how Bonner County residents move from Point A to Point B, and how they can do so more safely, cheaply, and conveniently. Therefore, imagine my delight when, on a dust-filled afternoon spent poring over old newspapers in search of The Way Things Used to Be (rose-colored glasses firmly in place), I discovered that Sandpoint once had its very own—albeit short-lived— streetcar line. Who knew? The Sandpoint and Interurban Railway Company, Limited was formed in March 1909, started laying track the following Continued on page 27

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Traveling the Goat Trail by Herb Huseland

“Connecting Idaho,” is a much misused term. Idaho is shaped like a pear shaped person. All of the weight is in the south. To most Idaho politicians, connecting Idaho means linking Ontario, Oregon in the west with Pocatello via Interstate 84 and I-86 in the east. It also means linking Pocatello in the south to Montana in the east, via Interstate 15, which, of course also connects with our capital, Salt Lake City. (Yes, that’s sarcasm.) For the rest of us, there is “The Goat Trail.” Back when the U.S. government built our highway system, US 10 and US 95 were major routes. In the case of long forgotten US 95, it stretches from I-8 on the Mexican border to Eastport on the Canadian border. I recently traveled most of Hwy 95 and 93 while on a recent road trip. While US 99 has all but disappeared, along with Route 66 and other main routes of the olden days, (pre-Eisenhower Interstates) US 95 is still the only way to get from southern Idaho to the north without going through Washington or Montana. For my trip south to Wellton, Arizona, which is a small town just east of Yuma, Arizona, I didn’t utilize Hwy 95 to begin with from my home in North Idaho; instead, I diverted to Ritzville and drove down to I84 at the Tri-Cities, thence over the Blue Mountains on the Oregon/Idaho border. I then drove east to Twin Falls, down US 93 through Ely, Nevada. Terminating 93 at

presence of that high dam appeared to be photo exaggerations. The dam looked small when crossing it, and other than the great canyon it spanned, it wasn’t very wide.

Hoover Dam

Most of the drive south in Nevada was much of the same nothingness for miles. There are a few historic sites, such as Yucca Flats, site of the first Atom Bomb test and proposed storage site for nuclear plant spent fuel rods. The beginning and the end. Yin and Yang. This is where it started this is where it ends. Kind of reminiscent of putting the Genie back into the bottle. Other than the long drive south through Nevada on US 93, I was back on US 95 when leaving Lost Wages. I would, other than a detour to central California to see family, be on US 95 for the rest of the trip, starting at Winnemucca, Nevada. There were some notable sights heading northeast on I-80 though. The first was Donner Pass of the Donner Party infamy. For those of you who were asleep in class, this was the infamously trapped wagon train that was snowed in at the pass during the winter of 1846-47. It looms 7,227 feet above sea level, so close, yet so far away from the lush Sacramento Valley, just a few impossible miles to the west. The emigrants died and there were Continued on page 51

Las Vegas, I joined US 95 for the rest of the drive. Las Vegas is a city best avoided for us country hicks. Traffic is heavy 24/7 with no place to stop to check directions. Henderson offered some respite and driving across Hoover Dam was a trip. All of those pictures showing the looming Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Opening Doors to Affordable Housing by Angela Potts

Almost half of the full-time resident households in Bonner County are considered to be low income by industry standards, earning less than $35,000 per year. About 37 percent of the county’s renter households earn less than $15,000 per year; another 21 percent earn between $15,000 and $25,000 per year. The private rental market is not producing rental units that are affordable to these households (rents of less than $450 per month). The majority of non-seasonal jobs projected by the employers surveyed for a study of affordable housing will pay between $10 and $35 per hour, requiring rental housing priced between $425 and $1,725, and for sale units priced between $157,000 and $287,000. Even in today’s market, these home prices are hard to come by. In November last year, Community Frameworks (www.communityframeworks. org) presented ideas for employers to assist their employees in offsetting housing costs. Unfortunately the meeting was not well attended. Yet Bonner County cannot afford to be passive about workforce housing. Fortunately, the Bonner Community Housing Agency, a non-profit organization, is on a mission to educate, partner and help fund affordable housing in Bonner County. It is essential for employers to commit their involvement to make this a reality and help secure our local economy. Workforce housing has been and continues to be one of Bonner County’s biggest challenges. This challenge is not limited to employers. It reaches all aspects of our community, from establishing a stable employer base to our choice of quality health care, along with our ability to employ safety officers and educators, as well as attract a core of involved citizens who become valuable volunteers making this community so wonderfully unique. All are jeopardized because of our lack of affordable housing. Why is affordable housing one of Bonner County’s biggest challenges and what can you do to help? As an employer, you can become an involved member of BCHA’s Employer

Assisted Housing Committee. BCHA ( is a credible and informed source, providing leadership in the area of affordable housing. Through an employer’s or citizen’s membership we are able to create partnerships that combine our competencies and make a difference. What is EAH, who benefits, and how is it done? EAH is assistance provided by employers to enable their employees to obtain affordable housing in or near the community in which they work and that provides value to the employers. EAH programs support employee recruitment and retention—and this equates to growth and profitability. It also leads to revitalization. Increased home ownership brings with it more community involvement, neighborhood stability, more jobs and an increased tax base. As an economic development tool, EAH programs influence an employer’s decision to locate or remain in our area, they increase the circulation of construction dollars and increase local business. These are essentials for a thriving community. EAH is the right thing to do! As employers we have a greater responsibility to our community—this is simply a cost of doing business. Quality employees greatly improve the success of a business. Increasing density and constructing in the service core where sewer, water and safety services, and paved roads already exist reduces sprawl, can reduce construction costs and can decrease commute time—reducing our carbon footprint, increasing net income by reducing transportation costs and creating time for community involvement. As a member of Bonner Community Housing Agency’s EAH Committee, an employer can build relationships in the workforce and network with employers facing similar challenges and focus efforts in a united manner toward solutions. Solutions can include establishing Community Land Trusts. These trusts take the cost of land out of the cost of Continued on page 53

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 

NOW PLAYING in your bathroom?

morning stampede! morning stampede! morning stampede! It’s the morning stampede! Robin showers with them every morning. They’re there when Joanna bathes her youngest daughter. They keep Billie company while she fixes a ‘diabeticfriendly’ breakfast. And they’re a part of the “Liar’s Club” at Hay’s Chevron every morning. In fact, you might say that Derik Walker and Jeff McLean, the dynamic duo who make up country music station K102’s Morning Stampede, join an awful lot of people every morning as they get ready for a new day. “They’re so comical,” explained Robin Carter who owns Just Simply Good Stuff, a local spice company. “The whole show is real lively and fun. It’s nice to giggle through the morning as you’re drinking your coffee.” Broadcasting live every Monday through Friday morning from 5 am to 9 am (with a pre-taped Best-Of show Saturday mornings from 6 to 10), Jeff calls the Stampede

“a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants show,” where the pair’s creativity is given free rein. They take calls from their listeners, run a “whose older” contest with celebrity birthdays, share off-the-wall true stories from national headlines in their “Stupid

is the Secret Sound. Each day at 8:15 they play one of a range of everyday sounds and listeners are invited to call in and guess what they’ve heard. “The tenth caller gets a chance to guess,” said Derik, “and if the caller doesn’t get it right, it rolls over to the next day. The winner gets a big prize package and that’s something really different,” he explained. “Unlike other stations, we’re actually giving away something tangible that we’re holding in our hands.” Prizes have ranged from a stay at Quinn’s Hot Springs to a float trip on the River-of-No-Return. A new feature that’s beginning to match the Secret Sound for popularity is something the pair came up with out of the blue—Slapfest Friday. “When we started this, the phone rang off the hook,” Derik laughed. “You can call in and nominate somebody for a slapfest—your mother-in-


OF-YOUR-PANTS SHOW News” segment, and provide information on “this day” in country history. Early in the show they call some lucky local resident for the morning wake-up call. Then, at 6:30 every morning, at least through the winter season, they provide a ski report and at 7 am they match up live with Jimmy Carter, “the Nashville Insider,” for all the gossip from the country music scene. They also do their own traffic reports. But by far their “biggest draw,” says Jeff,

Continued on page 54

211 Cedar St. Sandpoint, Idaho • 208-263-3167 •


Large, hard-to-find acreage Secondary waterfront lot has above Bayview with wonderful 40 acres with spectacular Pend community access with dock views over Scenic Bay, Lake Oreille River views! Remote on Pend Oreille River! Private, Pend Oreille, and surrounding mountain getaway has varied peaceful 1.5 acres has small mountains! 37 acre piece includes forested terrain with small cabin mobile home with cute interior. a beautiful forest with large trees and travel trailer, developed It’s hidden in beautiful gardens and several potential building spring, septic and drain field. and landscaping, surrounded by sites. Both power & phone are on a wide variety of trees, meadow, adjacent properties. Easy access, and mountain views. This is a less than ten minutes to the lake at great vacation retreat! | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009 Bayview. Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | $449,500 Tom Renk MLS# 2083819 $399,000 Tom Renk MLS#20805821 $375,000 Tom Renk MLS# 2081129 $185,000 Tom Renk MLS# 2080659 $139,999 Tom Renk MLS# 2082367 Custom log home on 35± acres of remote mountain forest land. 1800± sq. ft. house has open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, granite counters. Separate 2-bay shop has room/ studio above. New state-of-the-art solar system with automatic backup generator. Beautiful big waterfalls cascade down year-round trout stream. Borders state land.

Beautiful 40 acres in the heart of the Selle Valley, on little-traveled county road. Mostly level land is half fields and half wooded, with wide views of Cabinet and Selkirk mountains and Schweitzer Basin. Old farmstead has small frame house in disrepair. Private, quiet setting with good access to town.

Model UN Preparing for the Real World:

Sandpoint Students participate in the Model United Nations

by Marianne Love It’s early December and dress-rehearsal day in social studies instructor Debbie Smith’s Sandpoint High School Model United Nations class. Sophia Meulenberg gets rave reviews from classmates and adults while modeling her elegant threepiece ensemble from Pakistan. The black, flowing pants, under tunic and hand-crafted, beaded over tunic, given to her by her aunt, is not only stunning but perfect for the students’ upcoming International “eclectically elegant appetizer extravaganza” at Talus Rock Retreat Center. The event is a special fundraiser for a their trip to the NHS-MUN national conference at the United Nations in New York City from March 18-21. Sophia also explains to the class how she came up with her chosen appetizer, “samosas,” which she intends to bring to the International Night event in early December. She had learned of a Pakistani family living in Sandpoint, the Saieds. “My mother knows Raffat Saied... she told me that I should call him and his wife Muzna to ask for a recipe,” Sophia explained in a recent River Journal interview. “Before I could call them, however, my mother ran into Raffat (known by his last name, Saied) and... explained that I needed a recipe. “Instead of just giving me a recipe, he actually invited me over to his house to try a sample of multiple appetizers made by his wife,” she added. “[Later] We went over to Saied’s house and Muzna had prepared a multitude of things to taste....” During the visit, Sophia could sample the array of hors d’oeurves prepared

by her hostess, then decide which she liked best and Mrs. Saied would help her prepare it correctly. In addition, the entire Meulenberg family and other guests enjoyed an evening of cultural enrichment. “I was able to talk to them about their Pakistani culture and all different topics that I found fascinating,” Sophia said. “I’ll be returning to their house to learn how to make the samosas (ground beef with spices such as cumin and cilantro, combined with green peas, wrapped in wonton paper/pastry shell and served with mint chutney sauce). Meanwhile, finishing her classroom presentation, Sophia sits down, and students (from tenth through twelfth grade), dressed in costumes representing Russia, Sweden, France, Mexico, etc., take turns in the reviewing spotlight as their MUN peers, their teacher, Mrs. Smith, SHS cheerleading coach Bo Whitley and parent Heather Pederson suggest ways to improve the costumes and to greet guests in each country’s respective language. On this day, another parent, Beth Hawkins, snaps photos for publicity. Student Matt Charbonneau is in charge of tickets to the International Night. In an earlier class session, he distributed them to the class, advising each student to sell at least two ($30 for singles/$50 for couples), and adding a warning, “Do not lose your tickets, or you will pay for them.” On dress rehearsal day, Matt is still collecting ticket money for the upcoming event.

On Monday, December 8, ticket holders enjoyed a night with international flair and flavor at the luxurious Talus Center Retreat in West Sandpoint. It was an “amazing success,” Smith said. Heather Pederson, facility owner, concurred. “Every person involved in this production executed their task with attention to detail and professionalism,” Pedersen wrote in a congratulatory email following the event. “I heard multiple comments on what ‘fun’ it was, how ‘great’ the auction looked, comments on the ‘quality of procurements and how the kids ‘sparkled’.” This event, netting nearly $2,000 through ticket sales and a silent auction of donated items, is just one of many organized throughout the fall to raise the needed $36,000 for 28 students, their teacher and chaperones to attend the conference. Taking on such a monumental challenge has clearly required “a village” to support the effort. Students, educators, parents, business owners, school district leaders, civic organizations and individual donors continue to step forward with financial and in-kind donations in reaching the rigorous goals. So far, the MUN class has held bake sales, worked concessions, sold raffle tickets and copies of a locally produced coffee-table book. They’ve attended numerous civic meetings to raise awareness and funds for their project. Continued on page 47

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Party of Five Million Area residents heading to D.C. for an historic inauguration by Trish Gannon & Desire Aguirre “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” When Barack Obama says those words, he will officially become the 44th president of the United States of America. And if they’re lucky, a number of local people will be there to see and hear it happening. Dyno Wahl, executive director of the Festival at Sandpoint, isn’t sure yet if she’s going to be travelling to Washington D.C. in mid-January, but she does know her son will be. Peik, a sophomore at Sandpoint High School, was nominated as the only student from North Idaho who will travel with the Youth Leadership Congress to the inauguration. It’s a trip that’s extra-special for Peik, as Obama went through high school in Hawaii with his mom and his uncle, Mark Bendix; Mark and Obama are still friends to this day. “Mark and Barry (Obama did not begin calling himself Barack until after high school) are in frequent contact via their Blackberries,” Dyno explained, “although Mark sent a congratulatory message on November 4, and told me the evening of the fifth that he hadn’t heard back yet. He’s thinking they might not talk as frequently now that Obama’s our next President!” She went on to say that the family will be well-represented in D.C. regardless of whether she’s able to make the trip herself. “My brother and (he and Barack’s) group of friends will definately be there. I think Peik’s dad and stepmom might go, too.” One event none of them want to miss—the Hawaiian Ball, thrown in honor of Hawaiian natives celebrating the achievement of one of their own. Chris Bessler, owner of Keokee Company in Sandpoint, will also be travelling with his wife, Sandy, to the festivities. “We secured our airfare and lodging months ago,” he explained. “We figured if our guy didn’t make it, we’d try to use

it for something else.” The Besslers have been Obama supporters since he declared his candidacy for President, and even volunteered time manning telephones on behalf of the election.

The early booking was a smart idea, as Harper’s Bazaar announced that “a threebedroom house in northern Virginia was reportedly rented for $57,000 for inauguration week.” No word, though, on who rented it. “We don’t really know what the heck we’ll do once we get there,” Chris laughed. “This is big process and people will be descending on D.C. from all over the country. But regardless of what tickets we get, or how close we get to the process, I figured that in my lifetime this is the only politician who will ever really inspire me, and being a part of this is something I don’t want to miss. This guy is coming in with a lot of expectations and a lot of hope from people who were looking for change. It’s been a long eight years for those of us who think we’ve been going in the wrong direction.” The Besslers did receive word that they were the proud owners of two tickets for the North Standing Area, “from whence I’m hopeful we might even be able to see at least the tiny and distant figure of our

new president,” Chris said. He addded, “And we’ll even be with a couple million of our closest friends!” Bessler gives full credit for the trip to his wife Sandy; “All good ideas in our family come from her.” Patsy Charlton, a fifth grade elementary teacher at Idaho Elementary, will also attend the Presidential inauguration as a People to People facilitator. People to People is an organization started by President Eisenhower. Eisenhower felt that getting youth around the world meeting face to face would promote peace. Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” came about because of the People to People program. “I can’t say enough about the organization,” said Charlton. “The experience students receive is phenomenal.” Charlton said she has been on three leadership trips, which made her eligible to attend the inauguration. Sheryl Puckett, a kindergarten teacher, will also be going. They leave January 15 and return January 22. While in D.C., they will visit Mount Vernon with the students. “I’m excited that I’m going to the inauguration,” Charlton said. “The fact that I get to go see our new President sworn in and hear his speech is a chance of a lifetime. And to have students with us to witness how our government works in our best times. I’m beside myself.” Charlton said she is passionate about American history and government, and enjoys teaching the fifth grade because that is part of the curriculum. She has been a facilitator with the People to People student ambassador program for four years, and this will be her third trip to the capital. Photo courtesy

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Politically Incorrect TRISH GANNON | |

Eating the Frog

Dear Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Perfect Strangers who may read these words: greetings this holiday season. Yes, I know, this letter is late. Years ago, researching my Scots forebears, I came across the motto of the family Kerr, of whom Alexander, the younger son of the Laird of Graden, is my tenth greatgrandfather. Their motto was Sero Sed Serio—Latin, the language of all good mottos, but in English it reads, “late, but in earnest.” To my great delight I discovered that late truly is a family tradition. In the style of all these types of yearend communications my plan is to talk about the year just passed, and I preface it by borrowing from Dickens—these are the times that try men’s souls. They are times that are trying this woman’s soul as well, and the overriding theme of this year, for me, has been a struggle to keep my faith. Not just my faith in God, in a wise and all-knowing someone who guides the paths we walk, but also my faith in myself, and my faith that we choose our destinies, that no matter how difficult we find the path we’re on, we can only come out the better for walking it. That’s because 2008, with a nod to my grandma, was my year of eating the frog. A year or so before she died, in the midst of the chemo and radiation that seemed to be killing her faster than the cancer that riddled her body, she sat me down and told me she had discovered the secret of life. No kidding, the secret of life. Grandma talked that way. “Every morning, very first thing after you wake up,” she told me, “you go outside and catch yourself a frog.” Grandma, of course, hardy Texan that she was, saw no difficulty in the first part of this process, though I have to admit, I think I’d find myself a bit hard-pressed to do even this much. “Once you’ve caught him,” she continued, “you have to eat him. While he’s still alive.” If you’d known my grandma you’d have no problem picturing her as she said this, a wicked gleam in eyes that seemed even more lively after she’d lost all of her hair. I was sure I didn’t want this lesson to continue but I knew my grandma, knew the futility of resisting her when she was set on making you understand something, and knew exactly what my role was intended to be. With a sigh I made sure she couldn’t see, I asked,

“Why, Grandma?” “Because once you’re done, I guarantee you’ll have the worst part of the day over with.” She was delighted with her wisdom while I, a new adult and still wet behind the ears, wished for the thousandth time that I had been given a grandma just like the blind one in Heidi. Now, of course, I know what she meant. None of the last five years or so have been what I’d call a truly great year; none have even been what I’d call a good year. And 2008 kept up with that tradition. Last year at this time my partner David and I were making daily trips to Coeur d’Alene for his radiation treatments, and I was frantically trying to get at least even with my workload, if not ahead, before I went into hospital for my own surgery. It was also about a year ago that the aging U-Joint I had neglected on my truck (not knowingly—heck, at that time I didn’t even really know what a U-Joint was!) gave up the ghost and, in doing so, took out my shift cable, drive line, and some other really expensive stuff that you never think about but that is crucial for allowing a vehicle to move down the road. In a blinding snowstorm, around 6:30 in the morning, I was hiking along the highway to a spot with cell service so I could call for a tow. The year didn’t get much better. Each and every month seemed to bring its own special set of crises that had to be dealt with; despite working harder and harder, increasing expenses, never-ending medical payments, and decreasing income combined to make my financial picture look ever more bleak. Slowly, so slowly I didn’t even notice, I lost my ability to laugh. I began to question the direction in which my life was heading. I questioned whether anything I do is worth the sacrifices I’ve made to do it. And then the economy tanked, and people began struggling to pay their bills, and advertisers, dismayed at the lack of customers shopping in their stores or fearful that shopping customers won’t last for long, began to cut back on advertising as a way to save money. Even this publication, something I have given heart and soul to for so many years, became a part of this uncertainty. And the crises continued. Probably most of you reading this were raised in the same beliefs I was raised

in—that if you work hard, do good work, support your community, love your family and try to give more than you take, things will work out all right. Yet it seemed the more I did those things, the further away I found myself from living the life I want to live. More and more each day I found myself questioning whether I was doing the right things. After all, Einstein himself said that to keep doing what you’ve been doing expecting to get a different result is the essence of insanity. Maybe insanity is going a little far, but I suspect that crazy people don’t laugh much either. I began to fantasize about cashing out, giving up everything I’ve worked for all these years, grabbing up my kids, my friends and my loved ones, and leaving it all. Heading to the south of France, to New Zealand, maybe even to Scandanavia somewhere (though it’s a little cold there I think) and starting over again. Letting go of the American Dream and trying to replace it with something better. I have found myself finally being willing to let go of much of what I thought was so important—this magazine, my life in the community, my investment in living in North Idaho. And in the middle of doing so, I began to remember how to laugh. Up to my knees in snow with a shovel, trying to dig my son‘s totally-inappropriate-for-NorthIdaho sports car out of the driveway, I found myself giggling again. I am still in this process and I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if this is the last River Journal you might ever hold in your hands—only the economy, and the willingness of local business to spend money on advertising will determine that. I don’t know if, after Amy graduates this year, we’ll all take off to bum around Europe for a year, or climb in the motor home and head for South America. What I do know is that I’m okay with whatever h a p p e n s . Because in eating the frog this year, I am learning what’s really important to me, learning how to be willing to open myself to whatever it is that tomorrow will bring. I can already hear the laughter.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 10

Credit- Continued from page  the National Credit Union Administration, (oversight of credit unions) have adopted new rules which will drastically effect a company’s ability to increase costs to consumers. These regulations would (among others): • Bar issuers from raising interest rates on existing debt, except under certain conditions, such as when a promotional rate expires or when a borrower pays 30 days or more late. • Prohibit issuers from calculating one month of finance charges based on two months’ worth of activity, a punitive practice called double-cycle billing. • Require card issuers to apply monthly payments that exceed the required minimum at least partly to higher-rate card debt. Borrowers often face varying interest rates on credit card debt, for cash advances, balances transferred and purchases. The drawback? The rules don’t go into effect until July 2010. Travis B. Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America, called this a “notable problem. “The number of consumers falling behind on payments is increasing, so it’s just not helpful to consumers to give companies the green light to keep using practices that the Fed acknowledges are unfair and deceptive for an extra 18 months,” he said. It’s possible that Congress may speed up the process as it looks to adopt legislation of its own, including some practices not addressed by the proposed regulations like aggressive lending to young consumers, excessive penalty fees and multiple charges for a single overdraft violation. The Wall Street Journal reported that Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who has spearheaded credit reform in the House, said she’ll work on legislation to fill in the gaps in the regulators’ rules by restricting actions such as marketing cards to minors, and added that she’ll introduce new legislation in the first days of the new Congress, which starts January 6, stating Congress should act sooner than 2010. In addition, they report, Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Banking Committee, said he plans to reintroduce credit card legislation in the Senate to ban practices such as rate increases for “any time any reason,” universal default, and excessive and unreasonable fees. Rate increases are not the only area where consumers are being surprised by

their credit card bills. Companies are also lowering available credit, in some cases, to the amount currently owed on the card. Doing this, in turn, can increase the rates on your other cards as you are a higher risk borrower when you’ve “maxed out” a credit card. And again, you don’t have to have done anything “wrong” for your credit card

cards) but we’re also willing to work with our customers.” That statement is backed up by the Consumer Reports study of credit union cards: “Nearly every credit union has stories about how they’ve modified loans and credit card terms for members trying to get back on their feet.” If you go this route, be aware that credit

And again, you don’t have to have done anything “wrong” for your credit card company to lower your available credit. For example, use your card at a store where others who also shop there have a history of bad credit, and you can see your own credit suffer because you’re now in that ‘risk pool.’

company to lower your available credit. For example, use your card at a store where others who also shop there have a history of bad credit, and you can see your own credit suffer because you’re now in that “risk pool.” AARP the Magazine reported in early December on Jesse Gilleland, who pays his bills on time but recently had his credit limit dropped by American Express. The reason? “The letter cited AmEx’s experiences with other consumers who shop at places where Gilleland recently used his card and with customers who had home loans with his mortgage provider.” American Express would not identify for AARP “which merchants or mortgage providers raise red flags for the company.” If you have a good payment history with your credit card company but have recently seen an interest rate hike or a drop in your credit limit, give the company a call. That’s what Marie did. Though they didn’t reduce her rate back to what it was before, they did reduce it. Another option is to pay off that card as quickly as possible (and hope that other cards don’t also raise your rates). You might also consider obtaining a card from a credit union as opposed to a bank. In many cases, credit unions not only offer lower percentage rates on their cards, but lower associated fees as well—such as those for being over the limit, late with your payment or for cash advances. They also offer, according to Consumer Reports, “fewer hassles.” That’s because credit unions are not-for-profit institutions. “Were very customer oriented,” said Stephanie Rodgers, a public relations officer with Horizon Credit Union out of Spokane, Wash. “Not only are many of our rates lower (than those for bank credit

unions generally “cross collateralize” all your accounts. This means if you don’t pay your credit card bill, your regular bank account can be tapped for the payment. If your rates have gone up and there’s no way to change them, and credit card debt is threatening your financial well-being, you might want to consult with a credit counselor to help you get out of debt. Be aware that this $7 billion a year industry is replete with fraud, misrepresentation and controversy. Investigate companies before you deal with one. Here are some red flags to warn you to stay far, far away: Big up-front fees; No accreditation. Legitimate credit counseling firms are affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies; Unrealistic promises. Some companies falsely promise that you can settle your debts for little or no money, without hurting your credit rating. Legitimate credit counseling services help you pay back what you owe, albeit at lower interest rates, and acknowledge this is likely to effect your credit rating and ability to obtain new credit. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has a website to help consumers not only understand the basics of credit, but also to hook them up with counselors who offer free or low-cost advice. Visit them at If your card companies have already changed your rates, new regulations will be too little, too late. Ultimately, we might all be wise to follow some old, old advice... from Dickens himself, no less. “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness.”

Page 11 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Veterans’ News

Guest writer Ross Jackman

My name is Ross Jackman; I am Commander of the local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Audie Murphy Chapter #15 based in Sandpoint, Idaho. Our group meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the VFW Hall, corner of Division and Pine in Sandpoint. Our meetings are always open to the public. On behalf of the 130 members of Chapter #15 I would like to take this time to thank Bonner County for their generous support to our veterans. Thanks to you, the DAV van we acquired two-and-one-half years ago is still going strong. Your monies, your time, and behind the scenes help all made this possible. The DAV van runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday with stops in Montana at Noxon, in Idaho at Clark Fork, Hope, Sandpoint, Laclede, and Priest River, and in Washington at Newport, Diamond Lake, and Chatteroy. Call 509-434-7019 for an appointment. Remember, any veteran can ride the van if he or she has an appointment at the VA in Spokane. Our thanks to our seven volunteer drivers who have done an outstanding job these last two-and-a-half years. They are Robert Able of Noxon, Mont., Lewis Beebe of Clark Fork, Idaho, Gene Groseclose of Kootenai, Idaho, Keith Nicklish, Robert Wynhausen, and Mike Sanito of Sandpoint, Idaho and Don Carr of Priest River, Idaho. If you know these men, take the time to thank them for a job well done and if you see the van go by, wave. The need for more volunteers is an ongoing task. If you would like to be a driver call Don Carr at the

Veterans Service Office at 208255-5291. We are in the process of asking for donations for a new van (our old van will be no longer in use in three years). We have a “DAV Van Fund” set up at Sandpoint’s Wells-Fargo Bank. Also, there’s a donation outlet at Ponderay’s Pacific Iron and Metal Recycling (on Triangle Drive) where you can bring in your aluminum cans and tell them it’s for the DAV. All the monies we collect from donations goes right back to veterans in need right here in Bonner County. The DAV is instrumental in joint ventures with the other veterans’ organizations in Sandpoint such as the V.V.A. (Vietnam Veterans of America) and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in cutting and delivering firewood to the needy, giving to the food bank, helping with food, auto repairs, building wheelchair ramps and home repairs, etc. Last, but not least, I’d like to take this time to thank everyone who has donated in the past with their monies or time to assist DAV Chapter #15. Please take the time to stop and shake a veteran’s hand and thank him or her for their part in history and in helping all of us to remain free. If you are interested in joining the DAV, donating to the DAV, or helping us out in future fundraisers (ideas are always welcome!), call me, Ross Jackman, at 208265-2738 or Russ Fankell, DAV Adjutant, at 208-263-5419. In the meantime, a belated Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!

Sandpoint’s MADCAP MARDI GRAS takes place this year from February 19 through February 24!

300 Bonner Mall Way • Ponderay



10 AM Register & Start Cookin’ your Best Chili, Noon Have your chili ready for Tasting 12:30–2:30 Peoples’ Choice Judging Followed by Awards!


11 am Enter Fudge\Candy, Noon to 3pm Peoples’ Choice Judging Awards Immediately After A FUNDRAISING FOR THE WISHING STAR FOUNDATION

Don’t Miss Our Winter Carnival Sidewalk Sales! SIZZLING HOT SAVINGS Friday, Saturday and Sunday January 16 - January 18

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 12

Parking on Snow Days Joe and Edna were sitting down to their usual morning cup of coffee, listening to the weather report coming over the radio. “There will be 3 to 5 inches of snow today, and snow plow will be out on the streets,” the weather report said. “You must park your cars on the odd numbered side of the streets.” Joe says “Jeez, okay,” and gets up from his coffee.

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The next day they’re sitting down with their morning cups of coffee and the weather forecast declares “There will be 6 to 8 inches of snow today, and snow plows will be plowing the streets. You must park your cars on the even numbered side of the streets.” Again, Joe says “Jeez, okay,” and gets up from his coffee. Two days later, again they’re sitting down with their cups of coffee and the weather forecast says, “There will be 6 to 9 inches of snow today, and snow plows will be out on the streets. You must park your cars on the - “ Just then the power goes out and Joe doesn’t get the rest of the instructions. He turns to Edna and says “Jeez, what am I going to do now, Edna?” Edna replies “Aw, Joe, why don’t you just leave the car in the garage today?”

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If you want to know a little something about anything, you should stop in where the folks know a little bit about everything. When I went to work at Hays’ Chevron in Clark Fork, I didn’t know I was about to meet some of the most colorful characters I would ever know and love. Although the station has been in operation for many years, I would venture to say that when Bob Hays took over in 1965, the Chevron’s true personality began to emerge, becoming a mecca of information for the community of Clark Fork and an interesting side stop for tourists passing through town. Inside the station, in front of its large picture window, sits a small, round table surrounded by a few unmatched chairs. At any given time you can find some of the best and most imaginative tellers of tall tales imbibing their favorite beverage, Hazy’s coffee. They are like a mutated version of the Knights of the Round Table, with Bob as their King Arthur, Bugsy as Guinevere and several of them vying to be Lancelot. Bob’s coffee is a well-known, muchloved town staple and believe me, when you forget to make it, you pay a high price. When I was working nights at Hays, I made the coffee in the coffeepot the night before and Bugsy had it rigged up to automatically make in the morning before Bob and the “Piss and Moan”


crew arrived. (P and M also being Gordon Lockman’s well-deserved nickname.) Several times I forgot to make the coffee when I first went to work there. It wasn’t pretty, mostly because I had only lived there a short time and already knew that the guns racks in this crew’s back windshields weren’t just for looks. It’s bad enough to face one grumpy old man in the morning, but when you forget to make coffee for the good old boys, it’s like the combination of a train wreck and a mortal sin. I always knew when I’d forgotten to make the coffee, too. I’d walk into the station the following morning with ten raging men ready to pounce on me, possibly even take me to the edge of town and stone me. You could almost see the wheels of their caffeine-deprived brain cells churning out ways to punish me. If not for Bugsy saving my skin, huffing her chest out, (if you know Bugsy, then you know how hard it is for her to accomplish this!) and pulling me under her wing like an angry mama hen, I am pretty sure those guys would have tortured me for several days until they felt I had learned my lesson. I left myself notes, in bright, bold letters stating, “Don’t forget to make the coffee!” I started dreaming about making that coffee. No sugar plums and pixies dancing in my head, instead I get coffee mugs and urns spewing out coffee grinds and soggy filters. There are pictures covering almost every inch of space on the Chevron station walls. Black and white pictures, colored pictures, aerial views and close-ups. Some of the pictures are of the very characters that sit slurping coffee at that table now or in days passed. Pictures include a pet pig being fed by Bob, a giant king crab and a grouping of slaughtered goats proudly being displayed by some of the town children. Of those town children, I think only one is still living. Hazy’s has more history on its walls than most museums do. It’s incredible the things you learn from listening to these guys, too. Lonnie Lockman can tell you where the best huckleberries are located. (I said he can tell you, not that he will.) Lonnie’s knees and hips can also tell you what kind of weather is on the way for the next two weeks. If you listen closely, Jim Proctor can tell you what a diabetic should or should not eat, not that he follows those

by Jinx Beshears rules for himself. He also is the local soup connoisseur and knows every flavor served at every establishment and on what day that soup is served. Jim is also an avid Canadian goose hunter and you can see one of his prize mounts on Hazy’s wall of fame. (There is also a wall of shame, and several of these old guys can be observed on it as well.) Don Heller can tell you what’s new and who is doing who on the TV’s most popular soap operas. He is also up-to-date on most football events, as one of his sons, Don Jr, is a former major league football player for the 49ers (among other teams) and another son, Randy, helps coach football in Clark Fork. If it’s fishing you want to know about, then just grab a chair when Fred Solomon is sittin’ and spinnin’ his fish tales. Fred probably knows every well-stocked fishing hole from Sandpoint to Noxon, but don’t be shocked to hear how big the “one that got away” grows with each passing minute. Now don’t think that it’s just the men that can talk you up at Hays’ Chevron, either. Every now and then a woman will come in and visit at the round table. Before her death last year, it was quite common to see Claire Hays, Bob’s mother, fly swatter in hand, keeping the boys in line. They are men, and just can’t help commenting when a pretty girl walks in, unless Claire was there to keep them in line. I am pretty sure she shook that fly swatter to Mike Conn more than once. Mike may look like a cross between a dimpled Santa and Brad Pitt, but Claire knew the difference between naughty and nice pretty well. Someone had to do it and she was willing to step up to the plate and she wasn’t afraid to swat them when they needed it! I never actually saw her shake her fly swatter at Mike Van Stone, but I can picture her with that little tolerating smirk on her face, shaking her head at their comments. Sometimes she would come to the counter, look back at them and whisper to me, “Those boys need prayer!” If you want to know about community events or even community gossip, Hays usually has the 411, but don’t expect to always get your answers laid out on a plate all nice and sweet, because sometimes, Eloise answers the phone. Eloise Frost got the nickname “Helloise” because she is a Continued on page 19

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 14

Have a NEW Year!

May this new year that’s upon us be better than the last. May it give us all some happiness and not fly on by so fast. May it give us time to understand why we are what we is. Why some still act like monkeys and others seem more like griz.

by Scott Clawson

May the new year that’s ahead of us be nicer than the prophecies that’re bein’ spawned primarily through administrative profitsies. My wish is things’ll be all right, we’ll all be able to sleep at night knowin’ fer certain this ain’t the final curtain on our social faculties. Like Greece and Rome, the way they came undone through avarice and corruption, we’ve been spendin’ our strength, breadth and length, with in-yer-face consumption. Throw in the mix great congressional tricks and a heap of lawyers’ litigatin’s to bleed us hicks using backside pricks and various other irritatin’s. Sooner or later we’ll see the light in an unambiguous way. I hope that waitin’ ‘til the eleventh hour ain’t too late to save the day. Our potential is so much bigger than carrying on like this. We’re a bright young nation with a great imagination and that I sorely miss. May this new year be an awakening of our social consciousness where we pull up our pants before we don’t have a chance to clean up this craziness of overpaid buttholes makin’ big potholes in our economic streets and the likes of thoughtful governors tryin’ to sell of senate seats. I don’t know how to handle it, I’ve lost my sense of humor by the prospects that my future lit just might get a whole lot gloomer. Somewhere’s down inside my head, though reside some funny stories. Of late instead it’s been buried in dread, worried the world’s ‘bout to replay the forties. Well I don’t know, I’ll give it a go like a lawnmower that’s been sittin.’ Moons have gone by since I let one fly; too serious have I written. I still have room to change my tune, I’m only halfway down the page. Twenty-nine more lines, I’ll do just fine if I don’t think of some other outrage. May the new year that just stepped in help keep us grinnin’ again and again with unfailing cold engine starts, totally inaudible farts and happy wherever you’ve been. May it also provide you a helping hand or a chance to pay one forwards to some poor slob who’s lost his job because of some thoughtless turds. There I go again, because my head knows where it’s been. I’ve gotta cut loose, my mood’s in a noose, anger’s teeth are in my skin. Release those jaws and knots from around my happy thoughts; get flippant on paper about life in a vapor and tryin’ to connect all the dots. Happy New Year to all who read this, may it provide you all that you miss. If it’s a job that’s been lost or inadvertantly tossed, I hope that you get yer wish. May our retirement funds be in order with sound investments inside our border to preserve what we have while we learn to behave in this surprising new world order. Some good news would be a treat, one we seldom have the pleasure to eat ‘cause they send it down river with yesterday’s dinner as it just can’t seem to compete. Just phony hopes for us average dopes who’ve discovered some new world derangements. By using new tropes, ifs, maybes and nopes, it’s entertainment by way of arraignment. If you can’t refrain from pullin’ a blunder and becoming some shyster’s plunder; at least let the weather be kind on you and yer hind when gravity pulls you asunder. May you always have plenty to wear, no crosses too heavy to bear. May the future that’s in us be not again’ us and happiness not be so rare. No holes in the roads, a return of the toads and a long and mild summer with friendly yeller-jackets, and healthy income brackets, whether native or newcomer. Rainbows in paradise, no more head lice and the unconditional surrender of all the bad guys to the Feds and the big buttheads who like to ride my rear fender!

Have a good’n!

Page 15 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Scenes of Winter ‘08-’09

The winter of ‘08-’09, which didn’t show up ‘til mid-December, has started off with a bang, making up for lost time. In the photo above, Linda Michal poses with just one night’s snowfall on she and Ernie’s deck in Athol. Above right, David’s wagon ‘plows’ the snow in my driveway, less than 24 hours after it had been plowed to the ground. (There is no plow on his SUV, this was accomplished with his bumper.) And directly opposite, in the midst of the shoveling, plowing, snowblowing and raking of snow, try to find some time to have fun, too, like Misty and Brian did. Lessons learned this winter? There is no tool better designed to make you feel like a puny girl than a roof rake. Nothing says winter quite like bracing yourself to heave one of those heavy monsters onto a snow-filled roof and then feeling yourself suddenly sink hip-deep into snow. Then there’s the lovely feeling that follows when, trying to get yourself out of the hip-deep snow, you feel your legs moving, leaving your boots behind. David just loves to use his snowblower (at least, that’s what he said on December 17), so you’re welcome to join me in blaming the never-ending snowfall on him.

Why’s my River Journal late? Happy New Year to all of you from all of us here at the River Journal! You may have noticed this issue came out late, a first since I took over as publisher in 2001. Why? Between the holidays, the time needed to move snow, being without a vehicle for a week after I hit the deer and continued computer issues, getting this issue out on time was an impossibility. That you’re holding this in your hands at all involves thanking more people than I could possibly list, though David, of course,

gets a special mention. And with a brand spanking new computer sitting on my desk, we’re going to keep our fingers crossed that deadline will never again be placed in jeopardy by technology. We did discover with this issue that a later publishing schedule actually works better for our advertisers. So although this issue distributed late, future issues will distribute on the 7th of each month instead of the first.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 16


January 16 Winter Carnival ArtTrek 5 to 8 pm, at locations around downtown Sandpoint. Wander blissfully amid downtown’s wine bars, galleries and shops in this self-guided art trek, showcasing the work of many local and regional artists. Special showings, hors d’oeuvres, live music and more at many locations. Self-guided map will be available at the Chamber and Downtown Sandpoint Business Association offices and many shops January 17 and 18 Dover Bay Midwinter Art Fest 11 am to 4 pm at Dover Bay, 2 miles west of Sandpoint on Hwy. 2. Get an eyeful of astounding artworks at this art festival hosted by Dover Bay and co-sponsored by Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby’s International Realty. There will be refreshments and entertainment to go with the art. Just follow the signs and banners to the art venues. Visit for more information.


January 16 Casey MacGill’s Blue 4 Trio. The Pend Oreille Arts Council presents Casey MacGill’s Blue 4 Trio at 7:30 pm at the Panida Theater. The band’s music, spanning the ‘20s to the ‘60s, includes three-part harmony vocals and a piano-ukulele-bass-and-drums rhythm section. Tickets are $20 adults ($16 POAC members), and $8 youth. Visit for more details, or visit the band’s Web site at Blue4Trio. com. 208-263-6139 . January 17 Jimmy Leggs Benefit Concert. The Panida Theater hosts a benefit concert at 7 pm featuring Jimmy Leggs, plus Carl Rey and the Blues Gators. There will also be a silent auction. General admission is $20. 208-263-9191 January 24 Coeur d’Alene Symphony Family Concert. The Coeur d’Alene Symphony presents their Family Concert on Saturday, January 24, at 7:30

pm in Schuler Auditorium on the NIC Campus. This concert is entitled “The Symphony Goes Pops—A Night at the Movies 2”. Some of the highlights are: Rocky, Forrest Gump, Prince of Thieves, Star Trek Through the Years, and other Hollywood Blockbusters. Children up to age 18 are admitted free with an adult paid ticket. Handling fees of $2.25 do apply. Please call the NIC Box Office to reserve your tickets at 208-769-7780 or 1-800-4CDA-TIX. For additional concert information, please call the Symphony Office at 208-765-3833. January 31 Battle of the Bands. Sandpoint High School hosts the Battle of the Bands at 6:30 pm at the Panida Theater. General admission is $5.


January 9-10 The Cemetery Club. The Panida Theater hosts the Pend Oreille Players and their comedy play, The Cemetery Club, at 7:30 pm. General admission is $15. 208-263-9191 January 11 StoryTelling Dinner Show. Ivano’s Ristorante Italiano, 102 S. 1st Ave., hosts The StoryTelling Company Dinner Show. Seating begins at 5 pm, and the show begins at 5:30 pm. For reservations, call 208-263-0211. January 13 and 20 Tryouts for the Angels Over Sandpoint’s Follies 2009, a part of Sandpoint’s Madcap Mardi Gras, with two performances at the Panida Theater on February 20 and 21 this year. No acts will perform without a tryout! Must be at least 21 years old to participate. Call 208-266-0503 to schedule your tryout time. Remember, this show is Rated R and is more fun than a person should have! January 22-24 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Mountain Fever Productions presents award-winning cultural and sports films and speakers at 7 pm each night at the Panida Theater. General admission is $11. 208-263-9191 January 31 StoryTelling Dinner Show. Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar St., hosts The StoryTelling Company Dinner Show. Seating begins at 5:30 pm, and the

show begins at 6 pm. For reservations, call DiLuna’s at 208-263-0846.


January 7 KPND Ski and Board Party. St. Bernard’s, 479 Northwest Passage on Schweitzer Mountain, hosts the KPND Ski and Board Party at 5 pm. 208265-5100 January 15 Taste of Sandpoint. Cedar Street Bridge Marketplace hosts the annual Taste of Sandpoint event from 5 pm to 8 pm. Come taste the community’s finest food and drinks. Admission is free; tickets are $1 each, which are used to sample food at the various stations (food offerings are priced between $3 to $7 on average). Sponsored by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. 208-263-0887 January 15-18 Sandpoint Winter Carnival. The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce celebrates the winter season with their annual Sandpoint Winter Carnival. Events include a parade, parties and family happenings. Visit 800800-2106 January 16 Bonfire, 6:30 pm, Jeff Jones Town Square at Main and Third in Sandpoint. The bonfire this year will be smack in the middle of Main Street, adjacent to the Town Square and all the railjam happenings. January 16 Winter Carnival Rail Jam 7 to 10 pm, Jeff Jones Town Square at Main and Third. Skiers and snowboarders will compete at sliding on handrails and other manmade features. Points are awarded for style, amplitude, difficulty, and variety. Spinneybent Rails will construct a 20-foot-tall tall, 90-footlong feature that includes custom-built rail slides. Riders will compete for cash, and the spectators can keep warm and catch all the excitement by the bonfire. January 16-18 Winter Carnival Sidewalk Sales at the Bonner Mall in Ponderay. January 17 Annual Chili Cook-Off at Ponderay’s Bonner Mall on Saturday,

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January 17. Register and begin cooking at 10 am, have chili ready for tasting at noon, People’s Choice Judging from 12:30 to 2:30 followed by awards. Bring cook stove and grub, tables are furnished. $5 entry fee. Be prepared to furnish two gallons of chili for People’s Choice tasters. Call the Bonner Mall office for details, 208-263-4272. January 17 Fudge-O-Rama at Ponderay’s Bonner Mall. Enter your fudge/candy at 11 am with People’s Choice judging from noon to 3 pm. Awards follow. Furnish 2 pounds of fudge/candy, cut in half-inch pieces for tasting. The Fudge-O-Rama is a fundraiser for the Wishing Star Foundation. January 17 Schweitzer Torchlight Parade and Fireworks 6 pm, Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Torchlight parade, spectacular fireworks display, live music, and more. Strap on the skis or board for a bit of night skiing, too. Visit or call 208263-9555 for more information. January 18 K-9 Keg Pull 10 am, Eichardt’s Pub in the 300 block alley of Cedar Street in Sandpoint. The K-9 Keg Pull is a Winter Carnival favorite, in which canines are harnessed to empty kegs kindly supplied by Eichardt’s Pub, and race down a 50yard course. Dogs compete against like-sized entrants, and little dogs pull wee little kegs (think: kegs for St. Bernards, beer cans for chihuahuas). Bring your pup to compete, but it’s a terrific and kind of heartwarming spectator sport whether you have a canine contestant or not. There are prizes for winners, but all monies raised by the nominal entry fees benefit the Panhandle Animal Shelter. 208-263-4005 January 30 Chamber Choice Awards. The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce presents the Chamber Choice Awards, a formal Oscarstyle event to honor excellence in the Greater Sandpoint community. Happening at 5:30 pm at the Panida Theater, awards will be presented for

Citizen of the Year and Business of the Year, among many other distinguished awards. General admission is $30. For information, visit SandpointChamber. org or call 208-263-0887 January 31 Black and White Ball The Coeur d’Alene Symphony Board of Directors requests the pleasure of your company at their 2nd annual Black and White Ball on Saturday, January 31. This is a benefit event for the Symphony being held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Tickets are $75 per person. Please call the Symphony Office at 208-765-3833 for reservations or additional information.

Winter Hikes

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness is proud to present our Winter 2009 series of snowshoe hikes! If you’re like us, one of your new year’s resolutions will be to get out and hike more in the Scotchmans! Winter is a time of profound peace and solitude; a time to experience the silent side of the Scotchmans. So strap on your snowshoes or slip into your cross-country skis and join us for one of our organized winter walks. From snow falling softly on the Ross Creek Cedars, to the steep and strenuous ascent of Star Peak, with stunning panoramas, we have something for every skill level and interest. You will see first hand why the Scotchmans are so special. Group size is limited and reservations are required. To sign up contact the hike leader listed. For more details go to our website at: Start the new year right, and join us for a hike! This winter, there are three hikes to Ross Creek Cedars (January 31, February 28 and March 7) and a hike into East Fork Creek on February 7. Visit our website at www.scotchmanpeaks. org for hike detals and to sign up.

Poster Signing

One of those personal moments that gets locked into memory forver is a ride on the Schweitzer chairlift overlooking Lake Pend Oreille. The thrill, the beauty, the awe moment! There are few m;ountain ski resorts that offer such an inspiring look at nature in its grandest moment. Experiencing that oneness with nature while skiing Schweitzer Mountain over the years, artist Barbara Janusz felt deply moved to communicate her feelings by capturing this profound scene in a watercolor painting. “Barbara’s new painting captures what Schweitzer is all about,” said Dani Demmons, activities manager at the resort, after seeing Janusz’s new painting. “We’re thrilled the artist has done such a beautiful representation of the mountain. It captures the feelings I had personally the first time I witnessed the incredible view from the ski resort. Remarkable job!” The artist has just released a poster rendition of her new watercolor painting, “A Winter View from Schweitzer.” “Creating a poster of my original makes it more affordable for everyone. I wanted to share this beautiful scene with those who have and those who haven’t hand the chance to witness this splendor of nature personally,” she said. Posters are available at the Artists’ Studio Gallery in Schweitzer Village. (208-265-1776) On Saturday, January 10 Barbara Janusz will be hand-signing posters at the Artists’ Studio in Schweitzer Village from 11 am to 5 pm. Everyone’s invited! It’s easy to visit the village by riding up on the Schweitzer shuttle bus, just $2 each way. The ride is an adventure in itself; taking the shuttle means you can sit back and leave the driving to someone else! The shuttle runs every half hour, and leaves from the Red Barn Park & Ride parking lot at the bottom of the mountain just off North Boyer Rd. If you’ve never treated yourself to a trip up Schweitzer, it’s time to give it a try. You can reach Barbara Janusz at Studio by the Lake in Hope, Idaho (208290-1279) or visit her website at www.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 18

Hays - Continued from page 14

I am not allowed to write! I can’t tell you how long it took me to realize that Daryl Derr and “Mugger” are one and the same person! Then there is “Flapper” and “Finn” and “Dick Tracey” and “Big Ed,” “Bullhead,” “By

Corner is allegedly the oldest working building in Bonner County. (Courtesy of Corey Vogel.) These are important things to know when you are in Clark Fork! That and the fact that almost everyone is related in some way or another. If you get curious, Bob has about a thousand or so pictures of people and events in Clark Fork, ranging from 4th of July drag queens, (a scary picture of Bob, Lonnie and Ed Howard) to Boots Reynolds’ prints, to the fire of 1910

sassy, brassy, blunt, self-proclaimed BBB, who will quickly tell you what you want to hear and sometimes throw in a little of what you don’t want to hear for good measure. (By the way, if you want to know what BBB stands for, you will have to get that explanation from her!) I do have to say that the old farts who sit at that table aren’t sitting there because they are physically attracted to Bob, although he is the best looking man in Clark Fork. I think mostly it’s because they enjoy each other’s company, though they would never admit it, and because of the blondehaired, blue-eyed Bugsy. While Bob is the personality that keeps you laughing until your sides want to burst inside the Chevron, it’s Bugsy’s smile, her sincere hugs and genuine kindness that will draw you back time and time again. Well, that and the fact that if you need anything fixed, she is better than McGyver. Give Bugsy a half a coffee can and a piece of baling wire and the woman can make a car run. Hand her a paper clip and a piece of duct tape and she can make an air conditioner as good as new. I am not kidding either, I have seen her in action! If you need to know about guns, the history of guns, the future of guns, what Bob, Bugsy, Banjo and Lonnie enjoy some early morning coffee at Hay’s Chevron guns are made of, make, model and serial before the rest of the ‘knights’ show up. number, who owns what kind of gun, or what kind of gun is best for you, then it’s Golly,” “Hammerhead,” “Whitetail,” and or the flood of 1920; something like that Bobbie Kennedy you need to be listening the list goes on! anyway. Pictures of the old railroad and old to. He is not the only man well versed in If you need to know anything about mines are nestled amongst those of a turnweaponry at Chevron, though. Hazy has the woods and the local wildlife (the four- of-the-century moose pulling a cart and his own designer knifesmith in the form of footed kind), Jack Siple (Sr. and Jr.) roam the pictures of basketball, volleyball and those Brad DeVeny. Brad takes used saw blades mountains constantly on their ATVs and trophy deer, elk and moose. and artistically fashions his own unique know quite a bit of local Indian folklore. I’ve sat here now in Texas for the last brand of knives, several of which are owned Don’t tell them you want to ride with them eight weeks, haven’t met a neighbor, by my own son. up those mountains, though, unless you are cashiers seldom say hello and if someone Clark Fork’s own red headed, singin’ prepared to actually back it up with action. waved at me I would fall to my knees and stranger, (not Willie Nelson), Jolyn, can I also learned a lot of little trivial things pray it wasn’t with a gun in their hand! tell you what’s going on at Clark Fork’s from listening to the old timers that I However, I am kissing my grandbabies and local hotspots. Jolyn may be the newest probably didn’t want to know. Bob Hays that is about as great as life gets! But as far member of the Hazy team, but when you informed me that Kenny Butler was the as Southern hospitality goes, all I can think work there, you learn a lot about Clark hairiest man in Clark Fork. Unfortunately, is: man, I miss Clark Fork! Fork and its people and you learn it really Bob showed me a picture of Kenny playing Ed Note: Jinx may miss Clark Fork but that fast. One thing you have to learn is that basketball in high school and I have to hasn’t stopped her from gloating about the 80 almost everyone has a nickname, and while admit, I tend to agree. Come to think of it, degree weather in Texas! you may call him Bob Hays, he is also well Bob told me a lot of little things and usually known as Hazy, Bobbles, Bobby, Hazy-Bob had the pictures to back them up. and his closest friends call him names that Another tidbit I learned is that Camp’s Page 19 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

The Scenic Route SANDY COMPTON | | Winter is upon us, like wolves upon a herd of caribou. Winter; the equalizer, the teacher, the time of travail, the white demon wench, a demanding season that takes and doesn’t give until Spring sends her to ground. It’s not always like this. Some winters are wimpy, wet, gray and merely unpleasant; like a tepid shower suffered because others in the house have taken all the hot water. Some winters are just a long stretch of inclemency and minor inconveniences; puddles of slushy water that must be navigated to reach the curb. This winter and last are not like this. These are real winters; teaching winters, demon wench winters, “clearing out winters,” my dad called them. “When spring comes, we’re clearing out.” In the past seven days, I’ve spent the equivalent of two working days and a little more clearing out snow. After I finish this, I will clear out some more. I have a big,

honking snow blower that works like a charm and throws snow 50 feet, and I’m happy to have it, but the thrill is gone, you might say. My brother and his brother-inlaw have cleared my mom’s drive with large pieces of equipment on two days in a row. Wild turkeys are coming to Mom’s bird feeder. I haven’t seen a deer in two weeks. The forest is laden and full above the root swell of most trees. Every bit of brush or shrub or lilac bush is bent and bowed and sometimes flattened. The pump house is close to disappearing. Winter is upon us. I actually flipped off the sky yesterday morning as I worked my way through the latest nine inches of fresh. The sky’s offense was that it was throwing snow at me—again. I don’t often flip anything or anybody off, and I worried a bit that God might take offense, but evidently, She knew I wasn’t gesturing at Her. It did stop snowing, after all. Two hours later. I’m having fantasies about a red and white “For Sale” sign planted in the berm by the drive and a desert lot where there is not a mountain in sight and no snow has fallen for 500 years. But that’s a fantasy. The reality is that nobody could see the “For Sale” sign for the snow. Even if the sign was visible and even if someone passing by that didn’t absolutely have to drive this road saw it, they would not buy. The sign could have four consecutively lower prices written on it, and potential buyers would see huge white mounds everywhere and call me crazy. Which I suppose I am for living here in the first place. I’ve had enough experience that I should know better. I’ve lived here for almost 50 winters. It could be genetic snow exhaustion. My grandfather, when he moved the family here in March of 1917, shoveled a couple of miles of wagon road so he could “get in early” to the place he bought after seeing it in August. My dad and my brother kept our driveway and my grandparents’ open for years with a Ford 9-N

tractor with a back blade, and later with a TD-4 International crawler and then a Major-Fordson diesel with a front loader. Perhaps I am under-equipped, big honking snow blower and all. I know. I’m taking this personally, but, personally, if it didn’t snow again for, say, 50 years, that might be OK. It’s odd to feel this way before the 10th of January. Every year since I learned to ski, I’ve been at least as happy to see winter arrive as I was to see it go. Even last year, with a broken ankle that kept me from skiing, I didn’t get burned out on winter until the middle of March. This year, moving snow has kept me from skiing, and I’m ahead of schedule on winter burnout. And praying to get over it. So, I will look on the bright side. Uh—Okay. On the bright side, it’s not snowing at this moment. In fact, the sun is out and it’s a balmy 4 degrees Fahrenheit. And, this second winter of too damned much snow—uh, I mean, generous snow pack—means our aquifers will be nicely recharged come spring. (So, come, Spring!) On the social and economic scene, our ski areas are loving this, as are the people who are playing in the snow. In fact, I will probably be loving it more when I take time to go skiing instead of moving snow. So, I think I will clear out of here and go skiing tomorrow. That should make the price on the fantasy sign rise again and put a damper on winter burnout. There might even be a foreseeable chance of making it through March without flipping off the sky again, which, I am sure, will make God—and me—happy.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 20

Art Meets Education for Resident Fish Sandpoint is transforming quickly. We have new roads, new restaurants, and new franchises moving in. We have new people, new pets, new perceptions and attitudes. With all of this newness, it’s easy to lose track of what was, but thanks to the hard work of many, we can still give a nod to our natives. One of the fairly recent downtown transformations was the work on Bridge Street, thoroughfare to City Beach and the Edgewater, that crosses over Sand Creek and is a popular conduit for pedestrians, peddlers, and automobiles alike. Though Sand Creek is undergoing its own transformation these days, Bridge Street is now complete, and walkers have their own safe corridor across the bridge. A tall metal railing on this pedestrian section is soon to be transformed into an artistic display honoring native fish. Tom Whalen, Senior Conservation Officer for Idaho Department of Fish & Game, is leading a project for Bridge Street that will bring key partners together while providing an eye-pleasing education for everyone else at the same time. Years ago, Whalen, started dreaming of ways to integrate native fish information and education with art—living where we do, he saw opportunities everywhere. And driving where we do, he saw even more and talked about his vision. Well, dreams come to fruition with per sis t enc e

by Kate Wilson

and dedication. When the new railing and pedestrian walkway went in on Bridge Street, he got the creative glow. Whalen is not your typical conservation officer. Yes, he can cite people for poaching or harvesting an illegal fish. But he is all about education and information. And now, art has entered his arena too. Whalen specializes in native fish protection and education; he spends time with special interest organizations, user groups and students alike. He leads programs, passes out placemats and temporary tattoos to kids, and is constantly networking and coming up with new ideas. His energy is contagious; he gets things done. Whalen met his match in Sandpoint City architect Allen Krister, who also serves on the Sandpoint Arts Commission. Krister convinced Whalen to take his idea to the Commission and the Sandpoint City Council, who in turn responded positively to the project. Between the Sandpoint Arts Commission, Panhandle Trout Unlimited, and Avista (who supplement Whalen with his native fish educational endeavors), the daydream became a reality. Also partnering on the project are the Rotary Club of Sandpoint, Sandpoint Urban Renewal, the Sandpoint Arts Commission “Art by the Inch” program, and the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association. Krister and Whalen worked together to come up with a design; it would be a metal and glass work, an accurate but artsy depiction of some of the fish native to the Pend Oreille system. In deciding which native fish to focus on, bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) were the obvious choice—not only do they have a special designation in Idaho, but they are listed as threatened on the federal Endangered Species Act list. In the Columbia River Basin, bull trout were historically found in about 60 percent of the basin. Today, they occur in less than half of their historic range. Bull trout also serve as an excellent indicator of water quality and stream health. Whalen also chose to include westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus

clarki lewisi) as they are a “species of concern” in the state and will no doubt benefit from the added awareness. For this project, Whalen thought it appropriate to include a prey species too, so he went with the mountain whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni)—historically the biggest prey of both aforementioned native trout. The first step in the art project was coming up with accurate drawings of both trout species. Bull trout are known for their pink spots and cutthroat are known by the red slash under the jaw bone. IDFG graphic artists provided accurate fish drawings and City of Sandpoint staff helped by drawing them on cardboard and cutting them out. Whalen and Krister then asked the Sandpoint High School industrial mechanics class to help out with the second step—using plasma cutters to cut the fish shapes out of steel sheets. To make matters even more interesting, Industrial Mechanics teacher Yogi Vasquez put his top dog on the project, aspiring welder Katie McIntire, a senior at Sandpoint High School. “The hardest part so far has been getting the fish to look like the way they’re supposed to look,” McIntire said. “We had to put the fins in different spots and the mouth needed modification.” Adding the students into the mix for this project made it all the more stimulating for Whalen. “For Yogi to actually do the work, they’re gaining and we’re gaining,” Whalen says. “By providing the materials we also provided them a project—everybody wins.” Whalen thinks that by bringing in the students it could also help reduce potential vandalism to the site. If enough people are involved, word will spread and everyone will be proud to have been a part of it. The mechanics class is quite busy. Fat mud-tired trucks and riding lawnmowers with fangs and flames litter the scene amongst the fish cutouts. “Right now we’re building lawnmower dragsters, starting a new club for the dragsters at school, and also holding welding contests for Skills USA,” says Vasquez. “We have lots of projects—cars, lawnmowers, and now fish!”

Kate Wilson is a Project Journalist for Avista’s Clark Fork Project. Reach her at Page 21 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Though the project is challenging— creating anatomically correct native salmonids out of steel—the partners are coming together to make it happen. Soon the local glass artists, Bryan and Zabrielle Dillon, will be coming in to fit the bull trout spots with pink stained glass and the cutthroat slash with red stained glass. “This is quite the undertaking really,” says Bryan Dillon. “Each spot is essentially a handmade, crafted art project. We felt honored that we were asked to be part of the project.” Given the double-sided vision from the bridge and from boats on the water, the combination of glass and steel will morph to produce an art outside of the common box of fishery tools. This is art, education, and preservation combined.

“This is so Sandpoint,” says Whalen, eyes sparkling with anticipation. “This is real interpretive art.” The fish will decorate the middle of the bridge. Whalen would like to see large steel boulders, pea gravel, and native vegetation below the fish at the base of the railing. “It’s cool because the sheets [of metal] that we cut the fish out of kind of look like rocks, so we’ll probably be able to use all of it,” says McIntire. At this point, the plan is to put “shadow fish” that are just the steel cutouts, in schools and by themselves, sandwiching the middle of the bridge that will have the stained glass components. It will draw onlookers’ eyes to the sun shining through the brightly-colored glass, right where it counts—directly over the water on the middle of the bridge. The shadow fish will also appear on the outside of the railing for the benefit of boaters crossing under the bridge. “Thousands of people are going to walk

by ands see this,” says Whalen. “Getting all of these partners together creates an even bigger awareness; it gets people to think about native fish.” The City of Sandpoint has stepped in and agreed to maintain the project for the future. This brings the number of partners to a local arts commission, a city, an urban renewal organization, a rotary club, business organizations, a high school, a non-profit conservation organization, a utility company, local glass artists, state fish and wildlife agencies, and more. It is not just a pretty impressive effort; it’s a fun, challenging, and collaborative endeavor. It could take a couple of years to finish the project. But what an exciting concept— coupling development, infrastructure, public awareness, and art. “It will create a groundswell of community involvement that also builds consensus,” muses Whalen as he stares out over the railing on Sand Creek. “We can spend our education dollars wisely while thinking outside of the box.” Photos: This page, top: SHS Industrial Mechanics students with the project art. This page, below: Tom Whalen with a taxidermied bull trout. Photos by Kate Wilson.

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Chickadee-dee-dee It is January. The cold is numbing, and making that quick jaunt to the end of the driveway to grab the morning paper requires serious contemplation. Is it worth it? Is a brief, but bitter, foray into that windswept lunar landscape for a ream of depressing news and coupons that never get used, rational? No, not at all. Better to get a refill on the coffee and watch the chickadees from the window as they glean tidbits from the leafless shrubs in the backyard. After all, they are about the only birds around and they seem oblivious to the nasty weather. Thank goodness for chickadees! But what kind are they? Our area is exceptionally rich in these odd little birds, in that four of the six species extant in North America are found here. This demonstrates how ecological rich our area is, as each of these diminutive fellows is able to subsist alongside the other without competing. But what is especially fun about these birds is that you can call them and they will come to you! More on that later. All four of these feathered neighbors are members of the genus Poecile (formerly Parus), are residents (meaning that they don’t migrate) and are relatives of the titmice, which really are simply crested cousins—different genus, but same family. They also all have to some degree that same distinctive call which gives them their name—chick-a-dee-dee-dee. First, let’s find out who is whom. The most widely seen and probably

easiest to identify is the Black-capped Chickadee. This one you will find at your bird feeder this winter. The matched black cap and bib are accented by bright white cheeks. The wing primaries, tail, and back are slate gray, whereas the flanks are a light, buckskin color. An interesting fact about this bird is that its warning call changes the closer danger approaches. For instance, from your deck the bird might acknowledge your presence with a chick-a-dee, but as you approach the feeder and the birds themselves, their warning call will increasing add dees, until you start hearing something like chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee. The second most commonly seen is the slightly smaller Chestnut-backed Chickadee. This one is primarily a west coast bird, but also has a large presence in our area. While it shares the black cap and bib of the Black-capped Chickadee, its name describes its most noticeable field mark, a rich, reddish-chestnut color that seems to frame in the dark wings from above and below. The breast is also often—but not always—more white than the dun-colored Black-capped, and its call is also less clear , though still recognizable as its larger cousins. The third one on our list is the Mountain Chickadee. This one is also common. It prefers conifers and ranges with the higher altitude forests from the Yukon down through New Mexico. At first glance the Mountain Chickadee seems to be less distinctive than

by Mike Turnlund

the others, except for its prominent steelygray and black coloring. But take notice of the white stripe above each eye . Think of it as a Black-capped with racing stripes. Once you identify your first Mountain Chickadee, you’ll never be confused again. Last, but not least of these wee-sized birds, is the Boreal Chickadee. This one is probably the least common, though if you have them in your area you’ll probably see them as often as any other. This one prefers the taiga forests of Canada and Alaska, though its range dips just into our neck of the woods. As for field marks this one is quite eclectic. It has chestnut-colored flanks and a whitish breast, slate-colored wing, back, and tail and a definitively black bib. The most striking field mark, though it might not be apparent at first, is the brown cap which may or may not have black edging. Perhaps we could propose to the American Ornithologist’s Union to rename it the Brown-capped Chickadee. Not that the bird would care either way. But it is such a pretty little thing! So what is this about calling birds, specially chickadees? To begin with, chickadees are curious animals and they can be attracted by spishing. What is “spishing,” you might ask? Just as it sounds. Take a deep breath and then make a series of loud, rapid, plosive noises that sound like “spish.” It is sort of like calling a pig. You can also make smacking noises by elaborately kissing the air. My oldest son Jesse is a master spisher and he can quickly surround himself with chickadees and other curious little birds wondering about this strange creature making such infernal noises! The next time you are out in the woods or even in your backyard and see a few chickadees (or any other little bird) fluttering about, try it out. They’ll come running! I mean flying. Granted, they’ll quickly get bored, but for a brief time you’ll have your 15-seconds of feathered fame! Photo by Lauren Burbank

Mike Turnlund is a teacher at Clark Fork High School. Reach him at

Page 23 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

The Game Trail by Matt Haag

I need some help solving a poaching case. During the second week of December some poachers shot an elk off of Colburn Culver Rd in a private field at approximately 10:30 pm. Not only was that behavior illegal, it was extremely unsafe. The shots were fired in the direction of occupied houses. Most sportsmen I talked with are sickened by this act and so am I. Please help me catch these punks. A handsome reward is yours if the information leads to an arrest. You can call me directly, or call our Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999. As always, callers will remain 100 percent anonymous. For once I’m thankful I’m stuck inside as I type this article. The wind is howling and the thermometer is struggling to go upwards. I thought I might sneak out and try to take advantage of the late elk archery season, but I feel sorry for the critters. I’m going to stay hunkered down and give them, and myself, a break. When the weather turns cold I usually start getting phone calls asking if the “ice is safe.” Well, I don’t know about you but I was brought up that the ice is never safe. It was a good rule to live by but it’s a little dramatic because our actions on the ice determine our safety more than the thickness. North Idaho ice is a different beast, and requires some special attention. Here are some good rules to follow when heading out to ice fish. A lot of people ask how thick the ice has to be before they can walk out on it. There are a few general measurements to follow. Please remember this is for new, clear ice! • 2” or less – stay off! • 4” – Foot travel only – single file • 5” - Snowmobile or ATV • 8” - 12” - Car or small pickup • 12” - 15” - Medium truck This is a general guideline and there are many exceptions that can cause what appears to be safe ice to be extremely dangerous. It’s up to you to determine the quality and quantity of ice. North Idaho’s ice does not compare to the Midwest states for quality of ice. Every year I see folks drive their ATVs out on the ice and

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inevitability they are from Minnesota or Wisconsin. I really don’t recommend driving any type of vehicle on the ice here, especially on Lake Pend Oreille. The ice here is very inconstant due to many factors. The big factors that influence ice thickness are wind and current. If you are fishing bays on the big lake look for signs of ice stacking from high winds. Wind can make for extremely uneven ice. Ice will form further out on the lake and blow in toward shore in sheets. The ice will stack on top of one another or even worse yet, the frozen chucks that floated in will freeze together in an uneven mess. This produces thick ice with weak thin ice connecting the chucks. Current from various sources such as underground springs, culverts, and creek outlets can erode the underside of the ice. If you are unaware of the location of these potential hazards it could make for a wet, cold day. So what do you do if you break through the ice? Well, there are a few things you can do before you even head out on the ice that will increase your survival chances. • Leave your fishing plans with someone—where you’ll be and when you’ll return. • Don’t fish alone, stay near the crowd or take a buddy. • Ice conditions can vary dramatically; carry an ice spud or chisel to check thickness. • Be extremely cautious when crossing ice near culverts, springs, and creeks. • Be cautious of the ice after or during a high wind event. • Avoid getting on the ice if it has melted away from the shore. • Leave your vehicles at the shore and travel by foot. • Wear wool clothes that won’t rob your heat if you’re wet. • Carry hand spikes so you can pull yourself out of the water, back on to the ice. • Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone that has fallen through. • Take your cell phone. If you do fall through the ice, remain calm! Panicked minds tend to revert to instinct and instinct is not always the best option. Keep all clothing on as it can trap air and keep you afloat. Turn toward where you came from and begin to kick while using your hand spikes to pull yourself onto the ice shelf. Stay on your belly and slither toward safer ice; this will spread your weight out and prevent further breakage. Call for help immediately, as hypothermia will begin to set in. Stay safe and warm out on the ice this year. Don’t forget to purchase a 2009 fishing license, keep your holes in the ice no more than 10 inches in diameter, and please pick up after yourself. As always, grab the kids for some quality bonding time on the ice. There’s nothing like seeing a young angler crack a smile as they pull in their first fish through the ice. LEAVE NO CHILD INSIDE but please, bundle them up!

600 Schweitzer Plaza Dr. behind Super 8 Motel in Ponderay Matt Haag is an Idaho Fish & Game Conservation Officer.Reach him at 265-8521 or January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 24

Land Management We sure did get a lot of snow last winter, many inches more than most winters, but still... I was simply amazed at how “caught off guard” we were by an above average snow year. I think to myself, “hasn’t it been snowing in these parts for thousands of years? Doesn’t it happen every year, about the same time and don’t we get a really big snow year about every ten years or so?” But last year, as in 1996, again we seemed caught off guard. Several roofs collapsed, some barns were lost, I even heard some livestock were lost. Schools closed, people “could not” get to work, my daughter’s doctor appointment was even cancelled because it was snowing and the doctor was driving all the way from Coeur d’Alene. I would like to use this opportunity to encourage everyone to be prepared for winter and for the chance of above average snow fall and also below average temperatures. There were a lot of people who could not get out of their driveways last winter, to make it to work; some teachers could not make it to the community college to teach their classes, there were doctors who could not make it to the office to see their patients, etc… So, here are some suggestions on that. If you live in town, and only travel the paved roads, then a two-wheel-drive car will get you by (if you have a snow shovel that is, some sand to put down if you can‘t get traction and some chains just in case). But if you live in a rural area, off the pavement, you will need some sort of 4-wheel-drive vehicle, just a small SUV or AWD station wagon will do. You really should have some chains and know how to use them, and you should have a snow shovel and some sand bags in the back of your rig, too. I keep a cheap “come along” in my rigs which will usually get you out of any snowy situation you are stuck in. But the bottom line is, have the right rig for the part of the country you live in and around here I can’t imagine living even in town without 4X4, or AWD

(front wheel drive only if you live in town and plan on staying there). However, if you are supposed to be somewhere and if it is snowing really heavily out, then leave earlier, drive more slowly, have the proper rig for the part of the country you live in, have the proper tires for the season you are driving in and learn to drive in the snow because... well, it happens every year for an entire season. The oddest phenomenon to me was that all the stores sold out of snow shovels. This seemed so weird because I was wondering, who is it that lives in snow country and does not have a snow shovel but then rushes out to buy one, if we get higher than average snow fall? At what depth of snow does one decide they need a snow shovel? How could a person live in a place where it snows a lot, every single winter, and not own a snow shovel? I have always needed one; well, since I moved from Louisiana, anyway. In fact, I have a plethora of snow shovels, in various states of disrepair, so I did have to bust out the Duct tape, Marine Epoxy, add some screws and even do a little welding to the metal ones. Anyway, it is important to have a snow shovel or two on hand. Not one of those with the silly shaped handle and flimsy plastic blade either; I am talking about a good, metal blade, flat head shovel and maybe a high volume heavy duty plastic blade one too (if you are too weak, old or too infirm to use one, have prior arrangements made each winter for someone who will take care of your shoveling). So, for those who did not realize it, if you live in a place where it snows, you should probably have a snow shovel. Most importantly, if several feet of snow builds up on the roof of any of your structures, then you should shovel it off or find

by Michael White

someone who will. If your structure does not collapse this year, it will weaken it and then the next big snow year it may fall. If you are building a structure, make sure to plan well for the snow season—build it for these heavy snow years and even build for the “hundred” year event because we don’t know which year it will be. Some things to keep in mind are to make sure your builder did not just arrive from a snowless area and that he has good experience building in snowy mountain areas. If you are doing the building yourself, make sure to build with an aggressive pitch which will shed snow well, even when we have a warm period immediately followed by a cold period which then freezes the surface snow to the roof (shovel as needed). Plan roofs to shed the snow away from entries and parking areas, avoid roof valleys and dormers that sequester snow and bury chimneys, vents, etc.; avoid stubby, inadequate little eaves that invite massive ice jams and/or send deadly icicle spears directly into windows placed beneath. In fact, avoid placing windows where snow and ice will be falling or pushing against them. The bottom line is to hire a builder who knows what they are doing or if you are building yourself,do adequate research on proper building techniques for this region. But above all remember, it will snow again this winter; it may be a really big snow year and we may get below average temps too. So, we all need to be prepared for the snow and perform our duties regardless of how much snow falls or how cold it gets.

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Michael White is a Realtor with a BS in Forest Resources and Ecosystem Management. Visit Page 25 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Trail’s End by Tess Vogel

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Now that winter is really here and we are experiencing cold temperatures it would be a really good time to go out ice fishing. Ice fishing can be a really fun thing to do, but it can also be dangerous if you do not take the right precautions while out on the ice. Before you do go out, here are some safety tips and other helpful information to make sure that you are safe. For places to fish, rules and regulations, visit the fish and game website at I hope that I will be able to go out ice fishing soon with my mom and dad. We all love to go out ice fishing because it is a great way to spend time with your friends and/or family. I decided to break down the things that you should consider before going out on the ice. These categories will be conditions, clothing, and equipment to take. Conditions: • Make sure to wait to go out until there is at least four inches of solid, clear ice for you to walk on. • Do not go out when it is or has been raining because the rain makes the ice slick and you could slip and fall. • Do not go out in a big snow storm because you can’t see so you might get hurt. • When you go out to go ice fishing it should be a nice day when the sun is out (that’s the only type of day my mom would go out). Clothing: • Good waterproof gloves. • Layers of pants; you will want to be warm because you will out in the open. • Winter boots. • A good hat. • A good winter coat. • Thick socks. • Layers of shirts to go under your coat. Things to take: • A first aid kit. • A fishing pole. • Propane heater. • A cell phone (make sure that it is fully charged). • Small flashlight . • Spud bar (for checking ice thickness). • Camera (disposable works best). • Ice fishing shelter (if you’re super serious about it or if you are going to do it a lot). • Lantern. • Matches or lighter (for propane heater).

• • • • • •

Food. Drinks. Sunglasses. Something to sit on, like a stool. A towel. Tissues (in case your nose starts to run). • Extra gloves. • A fishing tackle box with all of your fishing essentials. These are just a few things that you should bring with you but there are more things if you want to take them. In addition, make sure that you take plenty of snacks with you, especially if you have a kid along. When you go out ice fishing you should always take another person with you in case of an emergency, such as if you or the other person were to fall into the water there would be someone there to help. Taking another person is a good idea also because if something happened the other person could go and get help. You should never drink alcohol when out ice fishing because it messes with your judgment. It could cause you to do something that you normally would not do. Although I have seen people out on the ice with their dogs while they are ice fishing, it is not a good idea to take your dog(s) because they get cold and they could hurt themselves out on the ice by slipping and falling down and they could fall through the ice. Please don’t take your dogs out with you when you are out ice fishing, they probably would rather be home where it is warm! One of the biggest dangers when out in cold weather is hypothermia and/or frostbite. A person could suffer from hypothermia if they were to fall into the water. Hypothermia happens when you are extremely cold for long periods of time. You usually shiver for a long time, and then you lose consciousness. After that, your body temperature can drop to life-threatening levels. Frostbite is when you do not wear the correct type of clothing when out in cold conditions. Your body starts to freeze, generally on the extremities, like fingers, or exposed areas like cheek bones. Frostbite can be mild, as in first degree burns or it can be very serious as in second to third degree burns. For more information about hypothermia and frostbite go to www. If I get a big fish I will have my mom or dad take a picture of it with me and I will put it in my next column. I will also add in anything I might have missed in this one.

Tess Vogel is 14, and a student at Clark Fork High School. Reach her in care of

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 26

Trolley-- Continued from page 

Speaking of kids, some of you younger readers might be wondering exactly what a streetcar is. That’s because they had disappeared from Sandpoint by 1917, and from pretty much everywhere else by the middle of the century. They were smaller and lighter versions of train passenger cars. Like buses, they ran all day. Passengers waited at a stop, hopped on, and paid the fare. But instead of tires, they ran on tracks built right into city streets, sharing pavement space with horses, wagons,

Bonner County needs cheap, convenient, and reliable public transportation. Our population continues to grow, and a lot of fall, and was fully in place by April 1910. that population is elderly or unable to drive The shiny new streetcar must have made for other reasons. We want to use less gas a lot of folks jump for joy on their aching and pump fewer emissions into the air. We feet, because not many people owned want people to enjoy coming downtown cars back then, so if you wanted to get and patronizing local businesses. We want somewhere, you walked or, if you were Sandpoint to be pleasant and walkable, lucky, got a lift on somebody’s wagon. and good public transportation would help (In pre-streetcar days there was a horseus make that vision come true. Wouldn’t drawn wagon that shuttled passengers to it be great if the hundreds of workers at and from the train station. On one trip the Bonner General Hospital, Quest wagon was carrying a wedding Aircraft, Coldwater Creek and party from the depot to one Interested in public transportation issues? The other employers could have a of the local hotels. The horses Sandpoint Transition Initiative is looking at it and convenient way to get to work? got spooked by something Wouldn’t a lot more families be will hold a meeting on January 7 (time and location and overturned the wagon, able to have a one-car household dumping everyone in the mud. to be announced). Call Bev Chapman at 208-255if that were the case? One hopes that the bride saw 4264 or email her at beverlychapman@hotmail. Many communities have the humor in the situation and com for information. resurrected streetcars under didn’t turn all Bridezilla over it. In addition, the Idaho’s Mobility and Access the term “light rail.” I’m not This was the sort of mishap the Pathway is also looking at public transportation necessarily saying that streetcars new streetcar was intended to issues and has established a local network to are the answer to all of our alleviate. But I digress.) coordinate existing resources. Contact area transportation woes, although The streetcar line made it coordinator Susan Kiebert at the Sandpoint they have a lot going for them. a whole lot more convenient Transportation Information Office, 208-265-0897. They’re are eco-friendly. They for workers to get to jobs at run on electricity and leave a the Humbird Mill in Kootenai smaller carbon footprint than, and various other workplaces, pedestrians, bicycles, and later cars and or for shoppers to schlep their parcels to trucks. They were also cleaner than buses, say, buses, and they reduce emissions by and from downtown. Twenty cents would running on electricity rather than diesel reducing the number of cars on the road. get you from Sandpoint to Kootenai, thirty fuel. Power came from overhead electrical They unsnarl traffic congestion, free up cents for a round trip, or one dollar for a cables strung through the top of the car parking space, and maybe even reduce the weekly pass. Schoolchildren could ride for by a device called a troller (hence the number of drunk drivers on the road. Of course, there are some cons. fifty cents a week, and they did so in safety, alternative name “trolley”). Streetcars are more expensive than buses. learning how to navigate the streetcars The Sandpoint and Interurban operated at a young age. The downside must have two cars that carried up to thirty-four Tracks would be a disruptive to install been fewer excuses to miss school, as the passengers each. The route started at a and might pose a tripping hazard for streetcars operated in all sorts of weather. depot at the corner of Second and Main, pedestrians and cyclists. The cars would be limited to their course and could not where the Truby’s store stands today. It be diverted down a different street in case traveled west on Main to Boyer, north on of an accident, roadblock, or traffic jam. A Boyer to a spot near the present airport, streetcar line would be mostly for in-town then east over Sand Creek to the Humbird use, impractical for shuttling all the way Mill at Kootenai. A spur track also ran to out to places like Clark Fork or Careywood, and from the Great Northern depot. although bus transfers or park-and-ride So what happened? Why did the options are possible solutions for those Sandpoint and Interurban stop running less farther-flung destinations. than a decade after its optimistic launch? But please don’t write off streetcars too The rise of the automobile had a lot to quickly as just a creaky old-fashioned idea do with it. Cars were getting cheaper and of a misty-eyed nostalgic. Sometimes those people were increasingly able to get around creaky old-fashioned ideas make a lot of under their own horsepower, untethered by sense in the here and now. Everything old a schedule. Then, too, times got tough and is new again, and all that. some of the bigger mills and smelters shut And if the Sandpoint and Interurban down, reducing ridership. The streetcar wasn’t the ultimate solution for Sandpoint’s became a financial dinosaur and clangtransportation needs—well, maybe some clang-clanged for the last time in 1917. modification of it might be. Let’s keep the Why do I bring this up now? Because conversation going. Page 27 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Milfoil-munching weevils planned for Lake Pend Oreille

Local groups seeking alternatives to herbicides to control milfoil are promoting a biological control project using the milfoil weevil. Partners for Milfoil Control has secured $90,000 toward the project and needs another $85,000 to fully fund it. “We see this as a great opportunity to investigate non-herbicide control milfoil in our lake, while contributing to the body of research on weevils as a control method,” said Diane Williams, executive director of the non-profit Tri-State Water Quality Council, fiscal agent for the project. Other partners in the effort include Panhandle Environmental League, Selkirk Conservation Alliance, Sandpoint Mothers for Safe Water and the Idaho Conservation League. Three of the partner groups serve on the Bonner County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force, a diverse county advisory board that sought state funding unsuccessfully in 2007 to purchase and study weevils as a control method. Over the past three years, more than $5 million of taxpayer money has been spent in unsuccessful attempts to eradicate Eurasian water milfoil in Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake. Most of the money has been spent on herbicides. Results from this year’s treatment of about 2,100 acres of milfoil are still uncertain. “In these times, we need to be careful about how we spend every penny,” said Heather Lewis Sebring of Sandpoint Mothers for Safe Water. “Yet, millions of dollars are being spent on herbicides that are not succeeding in eradicating milfoil. It raises budgetary and health concerns about the long term consequences of using herbicides year after year.”’ Weevils have been used for more than a decade in the East and the Midwest with some success. The weevil does not eliminate milfoil, but feeds on and burrows into the milfoil stems, killing and stunting the weed’s growth, controlling its spread and giving native aquatic plants a chance to reestablish. Lake Pend Oreille already has a native milfoil weevil in low densities. The proposed project would involve collecting native weevils and producing thousands of them in a culturing facility, stocking Continued on page 33

Spilled Milk & Skinned Knees

By Dustin Gannon

My world has just come to a screeching halt. The last 17 weeks that have been known to me as my current existence now hang in the balance. It’s Sunday afternoon, December 28. I came home to my mother’s habitat for a quick hello and goodbye as I was on my way from my girlfriend’s house in Montana, headed promptly to my own abode in Coeur d’ Alene so that I could make use of my newly acquired gifts. My mother then informed me that I had a story to write for her, a story that should have been finished, oh, let’s say 13 days ago. Instead of taking my place behind the wheel, I sat behind a monitor, and keyboard. Now I am here. As I was pondering things to write about I came across the idea of writing about the Knights Templar, who were a Christian military order with renowned fighting abilities, that existed during the Crusades and was endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church. I thought it would be an interesting topic to explore and perhaps I will sometime in the future. However, my skills are needed elsewhere and I must lecture you about the NFL, its crazy seasonend antics, and why my life, as I know it, is suddenly scattered. As I explore the World Wide Web to find a story topic I decide to brush up on the scores of the football games. I would have done this before but since the game that my Steelers had to play today was meaningless, I felt the need to do other things. Little did I know that when the web page loaded, the terrifying words that no inhabitant of Steeler Nation deserves to see came up: “Roethlisberger carted off field in Steelers win.” Okay, I just sat there for a couple

minutes as I digested those words once again in disbelief. Not Big Ben! He’s a beast! He doesn’t need to be carted off the field! Why couldn’t he get up?! Now while the end of that sentence is somewhat enjoyable, the fact that my quarterback is down makes it seem insignificant. Over and over again in my head I’m praying that the injury is a fake.; praying that they are planning some sort of trickery for the unlucky team that is forced to play against the Steelers in the second round of the playoffs. I’m also praying that the two week vacation in between games will be more than enough time for him to heal and get ready to make a run at possibly the Titans, and even more, the Superbowl. Now I don’t know what happened exactly, the Internet in Clark Fork is far too slow for streaming videos, but from my readings, Roethlisberger suffered a concussion after being hit simultaneously by two Browns defenders who I dare not say the names of. Uttering their names within the boundaries of Steeler Nation would be like Frodo speaking in the tongue of Mordor while he sipped the fresh waters of Rivendell as Elrond peered over the embankment. In short, it would be blasphemy! Now you know why my life as I knew it is scattered. My hopes, my dreams, which are shared by many others, now hang heavy on the shoulders, and arm, of Byron Leftwich. The next time you see my words on these pages, hopefully things will have turned for the better. Hopefully a hero will rise from the mists and a leader will be born. Or perhaps the injured will be healed and reclaim their rightful place on the throne and lead their team to victory against the evil hordes of the land of NFL.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 28

Powder Hounds

by Patrick Sande


he first winter storms are knocking father was a member of the local ski patrol, During these tougher times, it might be at our door and none too soon. It’s so we spent a lot of time on the slopes. One easy to find reasons not to ski. There’s no been roughly six months since the of my fondest memories was hanging out hiding the fact that there are costs involved last snowfall; a time I’ve marked by in the ski patrol room.Of course, this could in the sport and that time continues to notching out snowflakes on the bedposts. be said of any place containing an endless become more scarce. The thing about skiing It reminds me of my days as a kid and supply of cookies and hot chocolate. These and snowboarding though, it offers a rare having to wait, impatiently, for things skiers were a welcoming group of folks who opportunity for family and friends to slow like my birthday, Christmas, or any of the shared a love for the sport and the good down and spend time outside together. I gift-bearing holidays for that matter. can’t think of a better way to enjoy a This is a time of the year that serves fresh snowfall, bluebird day or even It’s an opportunity to enjoy and as a point of reflection for me. While blizzard, than by spending it on the explore the outdoors, spend time I impatiently wait for the snowpack to slopes with the people closest to you. build up, I draw on past memories to with friends and family and to escape, It’s a rare moment in life when adults help bide the time and keep me excited and children alike can give shouts of take a breath and smile. for the many great days ahead. joy, only to be echoed by the others I grew up in Minnesota (don’t-chawith you. know) and not unlike Sandpoint, the best times that came with it. I found something As for me, I’m not hanging out in the way to beat the winter was to enjoy it. special about being surrounded by people ski patrol room anymore—in fact, I find Personally, winter is my favorite season who played hard together and laughed it’s a good place to avoid when possible. of the year. Anytime you can play outside even harder together. It was experiences However, you’ll still find me surrounded by without the threat of heat stroke, bee like this that helped me realize, at the ripe the same great people, enjoying a beer at stings or bear attacks earns an A+ in my age of six, that I would be a skier for life. the end of another wonderful day on the Today, skiing still has the same draw mountain. Here’s to the winter and all the book. My activity (and addiction) of choice for me. It’s an opportunity to enjoy and memories ahead. I hope to see (or hear) is skiing. In Minnesota, we got to choose between explore the outdoors, spend time with you on the slopes. skis and hockey skates. I learned to ski at a friends and family and to escape, take a young age and haven’t turned back since. My breath and smile.

Page 29 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Love Notes MARIANNE LOVE | www.slightdetour. |

Meet Dr. Cherise Neu

Every time I call on Dr. Cherise Neu to care for one of my pets, I’m inspired. Over the past several years, those situations have not all ended happily, but I’m still inspired. When a professional, also a former student, sits down after a long day (part of which involves euthanizing your beloved horse after making every effort possible to save him) and composes for you a twopage heartfelt, hand-written note, that’s inspiring. Because of my great admiration for her, I’ve wanted to write a column about Cherise for some time. Our yellow Labrador, Annie Dog, recently helped put that plan into action. Annie had some ear problems, so I took her to Cherise’s home, where she has turned an old barn into a veterinary clinic. After treating Annie, she showed me some rescue horses that she had hauled to her facility to nurse back from starvation. She was proud of how much weight they’d gained in a short time. Cherise is instrumental in Bonner County’s horse rescue program. When neglected animals come to her home, she provides veterinary care and feed, purchased by the county. Throughout her travels in Idaho’s Panhandle and western Montana, Cherise sees the good, the bad, and the ugly of animal care. She happily provided me some insights into her day-to-day activities and her personal philosophy toward the responsibility of owning and caring for “all creatures, great and small.” Full name and age: Cherise Michele Neu, 35. Immediate Family: Eron Singleton (local fella, high-school sweethearts); son, Cooper (5); daughter, Elsa (1), yes, named after my grandmother, Elsa Wormington.  Graduate and Postgraduate Education: Associate of Science, North Idaho College 1994, Bachelor of Animal Science, University of Idaho 1998, Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, Ross University 2002 (senior clinical year completed as part of a transfer to Washington State University). Inspirations and/or mentors in your profession? Inspirations: My mother Colleen and my grandmother Elsa (nurses).

Mentors: Drs. Dawn Mehra, Rob Pierce, Brian Dockins, Marie Meshke, Jenni Grimmet and Bob Stoll. Interests/hobbies: Horses, kids, family time, reading, scrap-booking, moving green panels and making horse pens (inside joke), snowboarding and skiing, travel. What life experiences inspired you to choose veterinary medicine? Becoming a veterinarian didn’t actually cross my mind as a serious thought until I was at NIC. I initially thought I wanted to work in human medicine, maybe an anesthesiologist, due to the RN influence from my mother and grandmother. One day, I was in college, but home for the weekend, and leaning up on a fence watching Dr. Bob Stoll work on a horse. I think it was at that moment that a light came on, “Hey, I could do that!” Right then, all my years of farm living and animal loving made so much sense. How long and where have you practiced professionally? I graduated in 2002 and began my career at North Idaho Animal Hospital here in Sandpoint, Idaho. Dr. Rob Pierce had recently quit his large animal practice to focus on small animals. Part of our agreement was that he would mentor me in large animal work as well. So, I set out doing ranch calls through their clinic. However, I saw some of the reasons he was no longer practicing large animal medicine, and eventually my large animal work was phased out. I worked up until the due date of my first child, and then took three months off. When I was ready to work again... with an infant at home, I decided that if I wanted to control my own schedule, I’d have to work for myself. So, in 2004 I pulled together some old tools and started from there. I’ve also done some relief work at small animal practices to keep up my small animal medicine and surgery skills as well as to supplement my income when work is slow in the horse world during winter months. Those clinics include Pend Oreille Veterinary Clinic in Oldtown, North Idaho Animal Hospital, Pend Oreille Veterinary Service in Ponderay and Prairie Veterinary Clinic in Hayden Lake. Describe your general practice/

specialties: As each year passes, I consider myself more and more an ‘equine vet.’ I still enjoy working on all species but focus my yearly continuing education and reading on horse care. Although I will not let my other medical and surgical skills for all of the other species slip, I eventually want to become someone a younger horse vet would call for advice. I love to suture up a good, clean fresh laceration (on any species, including relatives!) Oh yes, my general practice is to serve as a mobile, large-animal veterinarian with the ability to also provide basic small-animal care and a haul-in/hospitalization location if needed (for horses). Describe your facilities. My truck carries 90 percent of what I need, but I have a portion of our beautiful old barn converted into a clinic. I have a great office area, indoor stocks and hospitalization stalls for horses. Only about 10 percent of my cases haul to me or are hospitalized; the remaining cases are seen as ranch calls. What support do you receive with your practice? Kate Siemers Neu (sisterin-law) is my right-hand woman. She’s a fabulous tech, working on her equine tech certification through the American Association of Equine Practitioners. She also does my billing and accounting. Kate is much smarter than I am. My mom also techs with me occasionally but likes to pick and choose her cases. When I have a really complicated field procedure/surgery to do, I occasionally have them both. Mom’s RN skills and horse handling are super. Describe your work ethic. I love my work but try not to let it consume me. I have two little children who need me very badly right now. They won’t need that forever. I started out in this field working very long hours and covering many emergencies, but it was too much. Life is too short to be eaten up by work, even if it is the best job in the world (it is still a job). I have a hard time turning people down, Continued on page 43

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 30



Big Brother

e live in the computer age and it’s not just big brother who’s keeping an eye on us. Every business out there is trying to access information from our computers— and some of the reasons for doing so are not to our benefit. The biggest concern with the “sneak and peek” activity that goes on daily with computers connected to the Internet is identity theft, whereby someone manages to gain enough information about you to successfully use your identity for their own purposes—generally with the intent to make purchases and have you pay for it. It’s estimated that every year, almost nine million people have their identity stolen, at an average cost of $6,383 per victim. Those numbers were enough to get the “Big Three” credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to act, and

consumers now have the option to install a ‘freeze’ on their credit reports, which means no one can use your information to open an account, or get credit in your name.

To Freeze Your Credit Report: In both Idaho and Montana you must write to each of the three credit reporting agencies. After January 31, 2009, Montana has requied the credit bureaus to also offer an electronic method of requesting the freeze. Visit our website at to download the complete instructions. If you want to do so yourself, you’ll be issued a PIN number with which you can temporarily unfreeze your files. It should

Watching You?

go without saying that you should keep this PIN number secure. Make sure that any business you give the number to in order to check your credit reports destroys it as soon as they’ve done so. State government, of course, couldn’t resist trying to make some money off the deal. In Idaho, expect to pay $6 to place the freeze, plus another $6 every time you need to lift it temporarily or permanently remove it. It’s $10 to replace your PIN number. That’s per credit reporting agency, by the way. Montana’s charge is $3 to establish the freeze or lift it temporarily, $5 to replace your PIN, and no charge if you change your mind about freezing your credit file. Neither state charges if you are an actual victim of identity theft—expect to have to show a police report. -Trish Gannon

Page 31 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009


by Thomas’ McMahon

TECH TALES With almost all of the new televisions on sale today being of the High Definition nature, you want what is best to get the greatest viewing experience. HD channels are becoming commonplace, next generation game console games are designed to be played in HD, and new movie releases are wasted without HD. I didn’t think the difference was so great until watching Tra n s for mer s on a standard television, then seeing it on a high end HD television. The difference was quite clear. You may think that getting the best picture is a matter of what TV you get, but a battle has been quietly raging and has apparently come to a close. HD DVD versus Blu-Ray. For many this was either irrelevant or an easy choice to make. Both of these discs have the same dimensions of a DVD, and in essence do the same thing; contain data (usually visual) that you can watch via a player. Now HD DVDs were a logical choice for most people as they can be played on a normal DVD player on standard TVs; the picture just won’t be in HD. Most decent DVD players being sold today are HD and when used with a HD television the picture is great. So a transition

to HD DVDs was obvious and relatively painless for many people, and this is why HD DVDs were “winning” the battle early on. Even game consoles joined into the battle, with Microsoft’s XBox 360 supporting DVDs and HD DVDs and Sony’s Play Station 3 incorporating a Blu-Ray player directly into the console. Blu-Ray Discs, while looking the same, are quite a different story. BluRays use a different technique in storing data on the disc. By using a blue laser (although it’s technically violet, I guess VioletRay or Purple-Ray didn’t appeal to marketing), that uses a shorter wavelength, more data can be stored on the disc. This means that higher quality (which directly correlates to more data) video and sound is viewed and heard when using a Blu-Ray disc. Of course, you need to buy a Blu-Ray player in order to view them, since standard DVD or HD players just won’t cut it. When Blu-Ray technology was first put on the market in 2003 it was way more expensive than anything out there. Plus, there were no movies being produced on Blu-Ray discs. This led a majority of people to use HD DVDs, while Blu-Ray disc buyers were more of an “elite” group, if you will. While still more expensive, the Blu-Ray products have dropped in price considerably and most, if any, bugs have been worked out. This has led to major companies, like Toshiba and Warner Bros., dropping HD DVDs and exclusively producing Blu-Ray movies. This has effectively “won the war” for Blu-Ray and it seems that DVDs will be eventually phased out just like VHS was. For those of you who resist change, however, some good has come of this. HD DVD movie prices are dropping incredibly fast—new releases can be found online for $10, something that I don’t see happening for Blu-Ray for a very long time.



1205 Highway 2 | Sandpoint | 208 265-9690

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 32


Clark Fork High School—One of the Best! For the second year in a row Clark Fork High School has been named as one of our nation’s best high schools by US News and World Report magazine. Last year, school staff and community members were thrilled with the Bronze medal recognition the school earned. Earning it for a second year in a row is a tremendous accomplishment and demonstrates that staff are building a strong system that will only improve. Only 20 high schools were named from Idaho, with Coeur d’ Alene Charter Academy earning a Gold medal and Boise Senior High School earning the Silver. To earn a medal a high school must meet three criteria. These include a College Readiness Index, Overall Student Performance Index, and Disadvantaged Student Performance Index. Gold medal status is accorded when a school is considered one of the top 100 schools nationally, based upon the College Readiness Index, which focuses on Advanced Placement class opportunities, success rate on AP tests or the International Baccalaureate program. Silver medal status is also accorded on the College Readiness Index, but a school ranking beyond 100. Bronze medal status is given to schools that do not offer Advanced Placement classes or the International Baccalaureate program so therefore do not meet the College Readiness Index, but do meet the other two key performance indicator criteria. As a small high school, Clark Fork does not offer the IB or AP classes to be eligible for the Gold or Silver medals, but does an excellent job of helping all students, regardless of economic background, be successful academically. For this reason alone, they are deserving of the award. Under the leadership of Principal Phil Kemink, a strong and dedicated teaching staff, and a supportive

parent community, Clark Fork High School is proving that students can succeed in school despite economic status. It is schools like Clark Fork that are changing the way in which expectations for students are evolving. For many years it was felt that students who came from homes where family income was low would struggle in school. This is not the case as has been shown repeatedly in our district. All of our students are filled with great potential and when the schools they attend are determined to provide them meaningful learning experiences, they will find success. It is worth noting that Clark Fork was selected by criteria designed by US News and World Report. There was no application process or written letters of recommendation. The magazine simply looked at student test results, economics of the community, and course offerings. Consequently, despite what some might perceive as flaws in the selection process, their recognition is well earned. It is not just Clark Fork High School that is providing these meaningful learning experiences. Throughout the Lake Pend Oreille School District students are demonstrating their willingness to learn and focusing upon their future. Student test scores are strong and improving. Curriculum is being implemented that is research based. Strong teachers are doing what they do best: teaching children the essential skills for success. Parents and students are recognizing that our resourcebased economy is shifting and that these skills learned in school are critical to their economic future. For now, I am proud to recognize the school and community of Clark Fork. The next time you encounter one of the students or staff from Clark Fork Junior-Senior High, offer them the wel-earned congratulations they deserve. We are proud of you and share in your success.

Weevils- Continued from page 28 them in beds of milfoil in Lake Pend Oreille, and studying the results. The demonstration project would contribute to on-the-ground knowledge about non-chemical treatments that can be used locally and in other waterways. The Tri-State Water Quality Council recently concluded a two-year demonstration project using bottom barriers in Bottle Bay that led to the Idaho Department of Lands establishing a permitting procedure for private landowners to use bottom barriers for aquatic weed control around their docks. The weevil project would begin in 2009 if adequate funds can be raised in time. The project got a head start with a $25,000 grant from the Sangham Foundation, a private conservation-oriented foundation with ties to Bonner County. “We’re already half-way there,” Sebring said. “If everyone in Bonner County bought two weevils at $1 each, we’d have enough to get started in the summer of 2009.” For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www. or call 208-265-9092.

By Lake Pend Oreille School District Superintendent

Dick Cvitanich | 208.263.2184 ext 218 | Page 33 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

A Holistic Approach to

INSOMNIA by the Sandpoint Wellness Council

Each of us at some point in our life has experienced a night where we just could not seem to fall asleep. Whether from excitement, worry or too much caffeine, we know the drain the lack of a good night’s sleep can have on our energy level and our mental and emotional state. Imagine experiencing that on a regular basis. Based on 2007 figures from the US Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia on a regular basis each year, and it seems to be 1.4 times more common in women than men. By definition, insomnia is a symptom of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep even though one has the opportunity to do so. It typically results in the individual experiencing some form of functional impairment while awake. Insomnia sufferers may also complain of an inability to close their eyes or “rest their mind” for more than a few minutes at a time. There are various types of insomnia. They include the following: Transient—may last from a few days to weeks and

may result from changes in environment (i.e. time zone), schedule, depression, or stress. Acute—characterized by inability to sleep well for a period of three weeks to six months. Chronic—characterized with inability to sleep consistently for over a year’s time. In any of these situations, the insomnia may be the primary concern or it may be a symptom of another disorder of a physiological or mental/ emotional nature. There are a variety of possible causes for insomnia. As stated earlier, stress in the form of anxiety, depression, or even excitement can be a significant factor. Caffeine intake can also contribute to insomnia. Chronic pain can also contribute to disturbed sleep. This is widely reported in patients suffering from fibromyalgia, for example. Insomnia can also be associated with various

hormonal imbalances effecting the thyroid, the adrenal glands, estrogen levels, or combinations thereof. Neurological disorders may also present with sleep disturbances as can certain digestive and intestinal conditions. Because insomnia is associated with so many different conditions, it is a good idea to first try to identify the underlying cause or contributing factors when seeking treatment. From a naturopathic perspective these underlying concerns may be addressed in a variety of ways, such as altering diet and lifestyle habits, incorporating certain stress management techniques, and utilizing nutrition and botanical medicine to balance any deficiencies or dysfunction in the body. For example, a simple consideration for insomnia of any type is evaluating one’s everyday dietary habits. First, consider your caffeine intake over the course of a typical day or week. Between coffee, tea and soft drinks alone, the amount of caffeine an individual ingests on a regular basis can be quite surprising and be more of a factor than you might expect. Second, high intake of processed foods fraught with artificial preservatives, food colorings, trans fatty acids, and refined sugars can also contribute indirectly to insomnia. In sensitive individuals these substances can act as stimulants or at the very least serve to increase inflammation that may contribute to chronic muscle pain, increased fatigue, and even Continued on next page

Members of the Sandpoint Wellness Council include: Owen Marcus, Penny Waters, Robin and Layman Mize, Ilani Kopiecki, Krystle Shapiro and Mario Roxas. Not pictured are Kristine Battey, Mary Boyd, Tess Hahn, Julie Hutslar and Toni Tessier. To learn more, visit January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 34

depressed mood—all of which can affect sleep quality. Another factor is simply the lack of water intake. Although not directly associated with insomnia, adequate hydration is a key component to helping decrease inflammation, which can present as muscle pain and stiffness, headaches, and irritability. If you would like to get more information on other natural approaches you can use to improve the quality of your sleep, please contact me, Mario Roxas, ND, for a consultation at 208-946-0984, or send an email to info@drroxas. com. From an Acupuncturist Perspective: Tess Hahn, OMD, L.Ac.Diplomate Ac., (NCCAOM) 208-683-5211 Insomnia refers to a variety of patterns characterized by the inability to remain asleep long enough for adequate sleep. Like a thief in the night, it steals precious energy needed for the next day. The condition can vary greatly from difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in staying asleep or getting back to sleep, restless sleep or in severe cases, not sleeping at all through the night.   Traditional Oriental medicine maintains that normal sleep is the result of balanced regulation of yin and yang in the body.  In the natural environment, there is a constant succession of day following night; the activity of day is said to be governed by yang and the peace of night by yin. Since yang governs awakening and yin governs sleep, most insomnia is a case of inadequate yin energy. Insomnia results in a vicious cycle because sleep is vital to nourish our yin energy.  Sleep is not merely rest caused by cessation of activity. It is a different form of being. It nourishes the nervous system and the mind, imagination and feelings. There is no substitute. An acupuncturist will further differentiate your insomnia into its specific pattern in order to choose from among about fifty possible points which may

balance your nervous system and promote yin functions. By asking related questions about your general body warmth, abdominal discomfort, palpitations, dizziness, etc., the acupuncturist tailors the choice of a few select points appropriate to treat the individual patient. Looking at the patient’s tongue and feeling the wrist pulse are also important in the process of obtaining clues

of which pattern of points will be most effective. For instance, a very pale tongue will suggest quite a different set of points than a tongue with an extremely red tip.  Because the treatment is specific for the individual’s functional imbalance, patients usually find that some other symptoms besides the insomnia are relieved in the process. In cases of extreme imbalance, the acupuncturist may also suggest a specific combination of Oriental medicinal herbs which the patient may take in convenient pill, powder or liquid form. For thousands of years, doctors in the Orient have eased

their patient’s insomnia and balanced their yin with a combination of herbs and acupuncture. Why not see how restful your own journey into the restorative world of yin can be?  For further information and to make an appointment, please contact me Treating Insomnia With CranioSacral Therapy Ilani Kopiecki, Integrated Body Work and CranioSacral Therapy, 208/610-2005 There can be many reasons for a person tossing and turning through the night, and never getting a decent night’s sleep. Emotional worries, nervous system problems and hormonal imbalances can be a few contributing factors. In my experience as a craniosacral practitioner, one reason for insomnia stands out very clearly. I call it the red flag syndrome. It is when the client’s reticular alarm system (like a danger sensor) is stuck on high and is unable to slow down. This symptom happens when life’s stresses are too much for the nervous system to process and it goes on overload. Then the RAS can’t seem to differentiate between a true emergency and normal sensory input. The heart beats faster than normal, thoughts race, the slightest noise seems unbearable to endure, and even a light touch can make the person jump. In many instances the client also suffers from lack of sleep. CranioSacral Therapy can be very beneficial to red flag syndrome and the sleeplessness it causes. CS focuses on releasing deep holding patterns anywhere in the body. As these tight areas unwind and balance, the body relaxes and overstimulated nerve endings calm down. As a result, the entire nervous system can finally enter into a deep rest and the client can sleep! When I am in session with clients, it is truly amazing to see this unwinding process take place. In many instances, it takes only a session or two to help the

Page 35 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

client get a good night’s rest. From the Perspective of an Herbologist/Reflexologist, Penny Waters, Relaxation Destination, 208/597-4343 When I first began to work as a Reflexologist, almost 24 years ago, I thought there must be something wrong with my technique as I found 30 to 40 percent of my clients had an unbalanced thyroid reflex. However, there was nothing wrong with my technique. I learned that an underactive thyroid gland is extremely common and frequently goes undiagnosed as blood tests are highly unreliable. An overactive thyroid gland is also possible, but is not as prevalent as an underactive thyroid. What does this have to do with insomnia? Well, the thyroid gland produces a hormone which affects all the cells in our body and their ability to perform their tasks adequately. An underactive thyroid can be the reason you suffer from fatigue, depression, the aches and pains of fibromyalgia, have deteriorating arteries contributing to hypertension and heart disease, constipation, diarrhea, and many more of our ‘modern’ ills that plague our society today, including arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Sleeplessness is another result of an underactive thyroid. I urge you to read Solved: The Riddle of Illness, by Stephen E. Langer M.D. (President of the American Nutritional Medical Association) and James F. Scheer. They explore and expand the brilliant work of Dr. Broda O. Barnes on the thyroid. It is clear, thorough, and supported by decades of medical research. You are given the tools to discover if you have low thyroid function and how to manage it with diet and professional help. Perhaps you are plagued with worry, guilt, grief, fear, depression or sadness as you lie in bed waiting for sleep. Your digestion may be in an uproar from poor eating and alcohol habits. Your body may ache or fidget, keeping you from dropping off or staying asleep. These causes of insomnia can be examined and supported by therapy and lifestyle changes. They can also be grossly exacerbated by an imbalanced thyroid. When a client comes to me for help with any health complaint, I always use reflexology to check for thyroid function. Regular reflexology usually brings the thyroid to proper functioning. I show the client how to work the reflex at home, too, for ongoing support. This is why I love reflexology so much. It can always find

the true cause of any health complaint and bring the imbalance to balance. It is nothing short of miraculous when the thyroid begins to function properly. Do not accept insomnia or any other health concern until you have checked your thyroid function and received the support that is available to return you to radiant well-being. From a Rolfer’s Perspective. Owen Marcus, MA, CAR, Rolfing,, 208/265-8440 When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? If you’re like the 64 million Americans suffering insomnia on a regular basis, it might have been a while. I’ve had a lot of clients come to me for help alleviating their insomnia. Fortunately, they realized that to treat chronic insomnia, they have to tackle the cause: stress. There are several causes for insomnia: too much caffeine; drugs (such as longterm sleep medication); hormones; parasites; and even eating late at night. Another cause is stress. If you spend day after day wound up, lying in bed might not be enough to slow you down. Studies have supported what I have observed clinically: what some people think is relaxation is actually exhaustion. When you push yourself beyond your limit, your adrenals kick in. Then you’re so wired that you can’t turn off your brain at night. Exercise can help insomnia­—if you’re not doing it while exhausted! When I had my clinic in Scottsdale, I treated a lot of exhausted runners. Their pattern was: wake up exhausted—run to get going— push all day—come home exhausted, but wired—sleep poorly… Needless to say, they weren’t healthy or well-rested. When you’re continually stressed, stress chemicals (such as adrenaline) never leave your system. The hormones are at such high levels, and the organs that neutralize them are so burned out, the chemicals stay in your blood even when you don’t need them. Additionally, the constant stress makes you so tense that even when the stress is gone, your body remains tight. If you‘re stressed during the day, you’ll need to de-stress before bed. Light yoga, a hot bath, or a massage from your partner can help relax you, and help break the cycle of insomnia. New Habits = Better Sleep. If you really want to overcome insomnia, you have to be willing to change your habits. Years ago, a client came to me because getting to sleep was difficult for him, and when he did finally fall asleep, it wasn’t restful. One of my first questions was when he ate dinner. It was after 9 pm. I asked him why

so late; he said that was the only time he was hungry. I explained to him that waking up not hungry was due to eating late, and he was only hungry at night because he was rushing around all day. I told him that without changing his eating habits, no treatment was going to work. I said I would not continue to see him until he changed. He never came back. How do you break your cycle? Change the behaviors that are keeping you from sleeping. Eat early in the evening. Get exercise when you’re rested. Cut back on caffeine. Take time to really relax before you go to bed. And learn to breathe. Proper Breathing Is a Short-Cut The simplest behavior change is learning to breath. Breathing naturally prevents stress from accumulating, and releases chronic stress. I have seen thousands of clients, including Olympic runners, and not one of them was breathing at their capacity. Learning to breathe a relaxed breath, and learning to really relax, is one of the major benefits of Rolfing or other good bodywork. Most of my clients come back after their first session and tell me they are sleeping better than they have in years. Bottom-line: When the body relaxes, the mind relaxes. When you’re relaxed, sleep is easy.

Simply grand. website design & hosting book design, editing and printing e-books logo designs collateral materials designed and printed. Call 208-290-1281

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 36

Gary Payton’s

Faith Walk

Barack Obama and the Oath of Office

My seventh-grade teacher, Mrs. Couch, was great at social studies and lousy at math. To this day I remember extra credit opportunities she provided us striving adolescents. For a few more points, we could memorize and recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Oath of Office of the President of the United States. (In those self-centered days of my youth, I learned and recited all three.) Therefore, for a guy who still remembers the black and white TV images of the Kennedy inauguration (fifth grade, Mrs. Johnson), the impact of Barack Obama taking the Oath of Office can’t be put into words. The oath is simple enough, 35 words enshrined in Article II of the Constitution: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The literal component of the oath speaks to enforcing, administering, and carrying out the provisions of federal law. With national and global responsibilities, the Executive Branch which the President heads consists of 15 departments, some 150 independent agencies, and 2.7 million men and women. It is a huge responsibility; some say it’s the toughest job in the world. It seems to me, however, that there is also an implied moral component to the oath as well. Simply put, I think the President is also charged “to do what is right,” not just what is lawful. Woodrow Wilson, a Presbyterian elder, advanced the Fourteen Points to reshape the world order after World War I. Jimmy Carter, a Baptist deacon and Sunday school teacher, sought to have human rights as the centerpiece of foreign policy. The January 20 inauguration of Barack Obama has prompted an outpouring of letters, prayers, and hope from around the world. The US Conference for the World Council of Churches, an organization of 34 denominations, expressed hopes for the new President: reduce poverty, remove

US troops from Iraq ahead of schedule, improve education, end torture as a means of interrogation, and use the “bully pulpit” with humility and respect. Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Carter of the Church of the Brethren urged Obama to “act morally: be transparent, not only in action but most of all in motives. Be responsive to real needs rather than to rhetoric. Raise the level of civil discourse. Be truthful to your faith heritage. Do justice. Love kindness and walk humbly with your God, for you are a child of God called to serve.” Barack Obama has been a seeker, like me and millions of other Americans. In the 1990s he was baptized through the United Church of Christ. He has stated, “It’s hard for me to imagine being true to my faith—and not thinking beyond myself, and not thinking about what’s good for other people, and not acting in a moral and ethical way.” In “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama declared he “felt God’s spirit beckoning me” and “I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.” With the Oath of Office, hand on a bible, Barack Obama’s greatest tests of faith will descend on his shoulders. He will publically accept both his Constitutional responsibilities and his moral responsibilities. And, his faith walk will continue. As another who is on a faith walk, my daily prayers will now include him, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha. As this latest chapter of American and world history begins, I invite your prayers for the Obama family, our nation, and our world as well.

Clark Fork Baptist Church

Main & Second • Clark Fork

Sunday School............9:45 am Morning Worship............11 am Evening Service...............6 pm Wednesday Service.........7 pm Call 266-0405 for transportation

Bible Preaching and Traditional Music

Page 37 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

The Hawk’s Nest ERNIE HAWKS | |

The Important Stuff

Forty years ago I bought my first brand new car. In those days, at least in my life, a car was first a statement about me, and only secondly about transportation. The impressing began at the dealership. I stood beside the car, hands in my pockets, looking—or trying to look—indifferent to the vehicle in front of me. The fact that I desperately wanted it simply could not show. I tried to put on a “Naw, this can’t possibly work for me” look. I thought I’d really impress and maybe scare the salesman a bit. They were all men back then, so I asked about gear ratios, and engine size and turning radius. Most of his answer I didn’t understand or didn’t even care. I just knew I needed to use the phrases. I thought they were esoteric, thinking he would realize I was knowledgeable and couldn’t be taken advantage of. Since I didn’t have a clue of what he was talking about, I took the next approach. I stepped forward and kicked a tire—it hurt my foot. Knowing, by now, that the guy must really be impressed I asked to look at the engine. He opened the hood and I looked in. I looked at it with all the skepticism I could muster. What I was thinking, but not showing of course, was “yep, it’s got one” since that was about all I understood. I asked about options, which included whitewall tires and an AM radio with two choices: one plain and one with an eight track and a second speaker on the back deck between the seat and window. Of course, that was more important than engine size or gear ratios; an eight track was the coolest thing in auto sound back in 1968 and would definitely make a statement about me. Maybe it still does. On the test drive I asked about financing. He told me I would need to see my banker “We have an agreement,” he said. “We don’t loan money if they don’t sell cars.” He laughed at his little joke. Before I left the dealer, I was given all the information the bank would need to make a loan on the car, including how much they were willing to give me on my trade-in. At the bank, a comment was made that I was expecting to get more than

the student loans I had acquired and was partially living on. One thing that added to my collateral was growing up in a small town where everyone knew my family and me. I wish I could say that to reach this point of the biggest financial commitment of my life I had wandered car lots for months on Sunday, when no staff was at work, or in the evenings for the same reason, gathering information on the car I wanted, and several others for that matter. All the while researching new cars by reading volumes of reviews in different magazines and talking to people who really did have a working knowledge of the different cars, People who actually knew what cubic inches meant and why it was important. However, I can’t say that. It was an impulse purchase based on the eight track. Most of the experts wouldn’t have known much about the important stuff like auto sound systems anyway, and when questioned would have thought it frivolous and probably dangerous. Needless to say, my true buying expertise was color, coolness and class; at least, my distorted view of class. I did get that car and drove it for several years. That experience of forty years ago has been on my mind this last week. We finally caved in to the inevitable and did it all over again. It’s not the first time in the last forty years, but we don’t do it very often. We talked about it for the last year, maybe a year and a half. We first thought we would need to get something in 2008 and started doing Internet research. Then as ‘08 wore on, we thought maybe in ‘09 or ‘10, always trying to put it off as long as possible. But we have this road to our house. In truth it’s a pretty good road, most of the time; for where it is, however, it is hard on vehicles. So last week was time to put our Internet surfing for auto info to work. The real decision on model had been made last summer on a camping trip to Canada with another couple in their Honda Element. We had been leaning toward one

anyway and that week solidified our plans. Still, we wanted to put it off as long as possible. Then it occurred to us that there was going to be winter this year and a Christmas trip was planned; we decided to get into our Element. We wondered if there was a 2008 still around. To our surprise there was one. It was just what we had been thinking about. As I stood next to it talking to the salesperson that Sunday afternoon, I didn’t even try to impress him. I just said we had been looking at them for several months and were going to buy one from someone. No tire kicking, no cubic inches, or whatever it is now, just what can we do to get what we want. The salesperson asked if we were a member of Costco. He said to check out special pricing online through them. We talked a while, got a price and headed home. I sent a couple emails to other dealers and discovered it was the only new 2008 in the area, so shopped for financing from home. Late in the evening of the next day we were back at the dealer with our Costco research, only to find out Honda had the best financing we had seen. Nowadays car dealers do loan money. I wonder if banks sell cars. So, we took care of everything without leaving and brought a new car home. Looking back, I’m enjoying the comparison to 1968, both my attitude and the way we buy cars now. It’s a lot easier, except for the price; this car cost more then my first house. I think part of it may be a little maturity on my side, plus we took advantage of Internet shopping from home. That is the new way to shop for cars without sales staff around now. In the end we couldn’t get one that had an eight track with two speakers though. It has seven speakers with a subwoofer, CD exchanger and a satellite radio... ah, the important stuff.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 38

Local Food

got (local) meat? by Emily LeVine

of the

Inland Northwest There are dozens of reasons to eat local, organically raised meat. Though the queasy may not be keen to admit it, meat was once a part of a living, breathing, feeling, eating, drinking being, and the manner in which it performed those tasks has tremendous effects on the nutritional, energetic, and flavor value of the food. Instead of using my precious monthly space on the details of these benefits, however, I urge you to visit w w w. S u s t a i n a b l e Ta b l e . o r g o r for more information. Instead, below are a few of the many options for purchasing locally raised meats in the greater Sandpoint region. There are many more growers than I could possibly cover here, so be sure to inquire at your local healthfood store, search engine, farmers’ market, or neighbor’s door to find a local producer to fit your needs. While some producers keep a variety of frozen cuts on hand year-round, many ask that you pre-order meat by the whole, half, or quarter animal. Don’t be intimidated by the potentially large quantity you have to order; most farmers will be happy to set you up with another customer willing to split the goods. It is never out of season to call up a producer and inquire about their policies; some sell out through pre-orders as early as June. BEEF Heritage Farms in Sagle offers grass fed, grass finished beef by the cut as well as by the animal. They also produce scrumptious eggs that can be found at Winter Ridge and at Fosters’ Crossing in Sandpoint.

contact Heritage Farms at: (208) 683-4410

and, new next year, holiday geese. (208) 448-2972

PORK Cascade Creek Farms in Bonners’ Ferry grows pastured pork finished on locally grown grains. They also offer grass-fed/finished beef, pastured broilers, and turkeys during certain seasons. Products can be bought by the cut through the winter, or preordered by the animal. All sausages, hams, and bacon are nitrate and MSG free. (208) 267-1325

LAMB Bob Gooby raises sheep right outside of Sandpoint, and sells them by the whole or half animal in the late spring, summer, and fall. The animals are pastured on virtually (but not certified) organic fields, and fed no hormones. (208) 255-7507

CHICKEN Winding Circle Farm in Priest River offers a variety of meats on raised pasture using methods above and beyond organic standards. Call in advance to order chickens, pork, lamb,

YAK The Pack River Yak Ranch, located north of Sandpoint, offers Yak meat by the cut year round. Their animals are fully pastured and hormone free, and the meat is extremely lean, nutritious, and not too gamey. Tours of the ranch can also be scheduled. (208) 263-4785

Local Food of the Month: Stew Nothing says winter like a steaming bowl of stew, and using high quality meats makes all the difference in flavor. Here is a basic recipe for stew, to be adapted to your taste of ingredients and seasonings. 1.5 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces Brown the meat in the butter over high heat for 2 tablespoons butter about five minutes. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves and thyme and stir 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons flour

Emily LeVine is a soon-to-be farmer living in the Selle Valley. If you have broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to mediumideas, questions, or low, cover and simmer until lamb and vegetables comments, or topics 5 medium potatoes, diced are almost tender, about 1 hour. you’d like to read 2 medium onions, diced about regarding Uncover stew and simmer until gravy thickens and 2 large carrots, diced local food, please lamb and vegetables are very tender, about 15 3 cups broth contact her at minutes longer. Add herbs. Season stew to taste localfoodchallenge@ 3 bay leaves with salt and pepper. herbs, saltWading pepperThrough | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009 Page 39 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth


FOOD OBSESSION by Duke Diercks Mom’s Eggs

This “new” schedule of the River Journal has me all screwed up. Now that we are a once-a-month glossy cool new magazine, we have writing deadlines of the 15th of the month to be published the following month. So, in November, instead of writing about a fun Christmas meal idea, I wrote about, ummmm, ribs. Now I am way too clever to make that mistake again, but I can’t write about New Year’s Eve, because by the time you read this, it will have passed. So I am forced to write about my least favorite of holidays, Valentine’s Day. But, more on that later. On to the title of this piece: Mom’s Eggs. As I have written before, my mother, did not cook. Unless, of course, you consider her mixed green salad tossed with Wishbone Italian dressing, sickly-green canned asparagus, and ample amounts of perfume off of her wrist. Or, there were the chicken thighs she made, also tossed in Wishbone Italian Dressing, and baked. Yum. (There was always Wishbone Italian around, and Squeeze Parkay.) But one thing she did make, as did her mother before her, were wonderful softboiled eggs, scooped out of the shell into a coffee cup, topped with butter and crushed saltines. Sounds too simple and too basic for a food column, but the technique is key, and they are so good they merit a column. I am not sure how many good traits I am passing on to my sons, but one I am sure of, is, one by one,I am teaching them Betty’s Eggs. Here’s how they are done: Bring a pot of water to a boil. The pot must be about three times the amount of

eggs you are using; you want the water to return to a boil quickly. We use three eggs per person, so it is a stock pot. When the water is boiling, lower the eggs in gently. Now, set your timer for four minutes. This is the perfect time for the eggs to cook to that yin-yang of still being soft, but allowing the whites to set beyond that gross, snotlike consistency. Now, while the eggs are cooking, put a mug(s) in the microwave for two minutes to warm up. Once the mugs are warm, add 1 tablespoon of butter per three eggs, four crumbled saltines and a twist or two of fresh black pepper and a pinch of salt. When the timer goes off, you have to act quickly: cut through the shell and scoop the glorious egg goop into the mug. Eat quickly while still hot. Now, you are probably saying, well Duke, that’s great, but what does this have to do with Valentine’s Day? Not much I’m afraid. But, as I said before, I’m not a huge fan of the holiday as I think it’s one that is foisted on us by the floral and candy industries. And, I think, it’s unfairly aimed at the male of the species. Why is it our job to buy flowers and diamonds? Anyway, I was thinking about a meal for Valentines, and about romance. Betty’s Eggs to the rescue! Male or female can prepare these eggs, maybe top them with a spot of caviar (cheap is fine) and serve them to their loved one with an icy cold glass of Brut Champagne. This, while laying in bed at say ten o’clock in the evening while, umm, watching movies would make for a great Valentine’s Day, no matter how you feel about it.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 40

In ThE



by Lawrence Fury

The Little Old Ghost of Bottle Bay Road

“... of the January sun; and not to think of any misery in the sounds of wind, in the sound of a few leaves.” Wallace Stevens A local professional bought a house on a narrow lane off Bottle Bay Road some ten years ago. Built in the early days of Sandpoint by the Wolf family, the house and various outbuildings were, shall we say, in need of some TLC. In fact, mold, rat droppings and various nesting birds and animals were abundant in the structures. It was obvious that simply remodeling was out of the question. The Sagle Fire Department was called and they gladly agreed to put the outbuildings to the torch with an eye on training new volunteers. The first structure to go would be the old barn/shop fifty feet behind the main house. The night before the torch party, the parents entered the old building to make sure there was nothing they could salvage before it burned the next day. Ascending an old set of stairs to the small second floor, they looked around and saw resting on an old shelf a porcelain angel. As the father reached for it, a strong gust of wind blew through the small nearby window

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and carried the angel figure away into the night. The next day the Sagle Fire Department burned the outbuilding to the ground, leaving a great pile of ash and debris. Picking through it the next day, one daughter of our professional, Lindsey, poked and prodded and found something with the stick she was using. Reaching into the now cold, grey ash she withdrew... a ceramic angel. Whole and intact. Showing her parents, both were surprised at this unusual turn. As the year went on, the daughters of our professional began seeing a “lady” watching them from time to time. In the garden, the kitchen... even their bedrooms. But they never felt threatened. In fact, they felt as if they had a protecting angel watching over them. Mr. Wolf, the very elderly descendent of the original owners, who still lived nearby and had befriended the home’s new owners, related one day that his family, who had homesteaded the property before World War I, had witnessed the death of

his mother from scarlet fever in the 1930s. It was an unfortunately common illness then. (Author’s note: a four-year-old uncle and 14-year-old aunt I never knew died in the 30s of scarlet fever.) Determined to live there, the family went about their business. But often, as members of the family would enter the basement, lights would flicker. Other times, one of the twin daughters would be bending over her bike, then look up to see the smiling face of an old lady looking at her, then instantly disappear. Finally, one week when the father was alone, the family away visiting in-laws, he experienced an encounter with the ‘ghost.’ Drying his hair as he came out of the shower, there in the hall stood the figure of an elderly woman in a print dress from another era. Unnerved, the father decided then and there that the house did not belong to them, but to its past residents. He decided to raze the house and build a new one. The Sagle Fire Department had another training day and less than a year later, the family had built a new home, minus its protective spirit. Or so they thought. Jumping forward to Halloween 2008, the original house was now a memory. The now teenaged twin daughters had a sleep over Halloween party. One of them took a digital photo of one of their friends sitting on a fence. Looking at the digital photo on their computer, lo and behold an orb appeared in the photo. It was too large to be a reflection off a dust particile, and obscured the other girl’s face. Is it the protective spirit of the kind older lady looking after her girls? You can decided as soon as I can obtain the photo. Next month: the first of two strange stories than took place over thirty-five years apart, but nonetheless may be related.

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From ThE


Of The River Journal’s

SurrealisT Research BureaU Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow Vindicated New light on an old mystery

One of my favorite composers, Brian Wilson, the founder of the Beach Boys, won the only Grammy of his life a few years ago for, of all things, an instrumental titled “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow.” Ironic indeed, for Mrs. O’Leary appears to have been given a bum rap. Micheal Ahern, a colorful Chicago Republican reporter who created the Mrs. O’Leary’s cow story, admitted in 1893 that he made it up because he thought it would help sell copies of his paper, but by then the story had spread too far and too fast. It’s still being reported as fact today! Mrs. O’Leary, being a single woman, and an immigrant as well in those tough Chicago times, made an easy scapegoat. So what did cause the Great Chicago Fire? In 2004 at a conference of the Aerospace Industry, physicist Robert Wood suggested his review of 19 th century astronomical observations bolsters an old theory that the devastating Chicago Fire began when Biela’s Comet broke up and scattered white-hot debris over a wide area. First spotted and named in 1772, the comet was noticed in 1846 to have broken into fragments and thereafter meteor showers of diminishing intensity occurred at just those occasions when the comet could have been expected to re-appear. Wood felt, based on his analysis of the positions of the comet’s final passes, that the comet’s main body crashed into the Great Lakes and that peripheral pieces, including highly combustible frozen methane and acetylene, exploded from the friction of their descent through the atmosphere and ignited not only the Great Chicago Fire but scores of even greater fires as well. While 250 people lost their lives that night in Chicago, its not as well known that 10 times that number lost their lives in firestorms elsewhere in the Midwest that same night. Since then, other evidence has come to light supporting this theory. A huge impact crater was found nearly 200

feet below the surface of Lake Huron by geologists, along with a 58-pound chunk of carbonaceous meteorite and meteoric rock found at the same depth by crews drilling a pipeline. Eyewitnesses reported sighting “balls of fire” or fire-balloons falling from the sky that night, and blue flames predominated, lending credence to the “methane comet” theory. Peshtigo, Wisconsin lost 2,000 lives by fire that same night (still the deadliest fire in American history). Other towns completely wiped out were Holland, Mich., Manistee, Mich., Port Huron, Mich., and scores more. Systems Engineer Ken Rieli says that the fires burned in a cone-shaped northto-south pattern fanning out in a V-shaped trajectory down through the lower peninsula of Michigan, the pattern being identical to the ballistic pattern of a shotgun cluster of pellets, suggesting there were hundreds if

by Jody Forest not thousands of pieces of falling debris from the comet’s break-up. The Tunguska Event of 1908, the largest natural non-nuclear explosion in recorded history, should teach us to tread with caution in the wake of history. How many earthquakes or massive fires in history or the Bible can actually be attributed to meteorites or comets? Someone could make a thesis out of examining old records. (Sodom and Gomorrah, Atlantis, anyone?) Is the massive iron meteor, big as a mountain, which will drive man the way of the dinosaurs even now hurtling through the dark abyss of space towards a rendevous with sleeping man? “It is not scientists who are after the truth, it is the truth which is after scientists.”                                                          K. Schecta

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 42

Dr. Neu- Continued from page 30 and actually rarely do. Sometimes I have to use others as a buffer (for example, have Kate answer the phone) to protect my time with my kids and family. But I am attached at the hip to my two cell phones (one primary and one for emergencies only). My clients, and especially established clients, can always count on me, rain or shine, night or day, almost every day of the year, to be there when there is trouble. Once in awhile, though, you let someone down (Maybe I was in Coeur d’Alene at Costco buying diapers, etc.), and they never forgive or forget it. I can’t please every single person... What’s been most satisfying about your chosen profession? I love my job. It makes me happy to think about what I do. I get to become friends with people and connect. I see animals get better and feel good. I think I am making a positive impact on the world. What’s most frustrating? Angry, cold, ignorant, cheap, mean, dark-hearted people who don’t want to be better. Just like any other place or job in the world, negative people can make our jobs and lives harder sometimes. I try to avoid them. Besides your general practice, describe your supplemental activities associated with animals here in the county. At this present time I’m the only facility that will take in seized, abandoned, starving horses for Bonner County. Depending on their health issues, I care for them and get them settled and then often find them foster homes for longer term care (sometimes legal issues with these horses and their owners can go on for many months). In general, I am also a sucker for sad animals and often have more than one here to take care of. Explain what horse rescue involves— why, when, who’s involved, what procedures are followed?  First, the police decide if a vet and the Dept. of Agriculture need to be called; if these parties agree there is abuse, neglect, or risk to the animals’ lives, the animals are seized. They are cared for as the county’s property until legal matters are solved (often many months). During the impoundment period, they’re placed on individual care plans, recommended by a vet, and their well being is monitored regularly. If the owners lose the legal battle and the animals become property of the county, they are auctioned off or given away.  Discuss some experiences you’ve had so far with horse rescues. Describe the worst case you’ve ever seen.  The worst case I have ever seen was a couple of years ago in Clagstone.  This situation was reported in

the papers. The owner lost the legal case. It’s a long story and doesn’t end with the first seizing and legal battle. I was called out by the police on the original visit to find a dead foal, maybe four months old, frozen into the muck, lying partly out of a pen. The dogs were hungry too and were eating on the part of the foal that wasn’t in with the other horses. Three other horses were inside the pen, maybe 15 by 20 feet or so. Another was dead and deeply imbedded into the frozen, pitted mud. The other horses had obviously had to walk on the dead horse, as the pen was not very big. The pen was below the dark shed roof of an old barn, and the roof was low. There was a metal trough outside of the pen that held frozen, moldy bread and was covered by a mattress. The horses had occasionally been fed bread. There were two live horses in the pen, an older paint mare and a young bay. The young horse had facial deformities from trying to grow while in a state of starvation. A couple of other horses outside were able to eat the trees, so they didn’t look quite as close to death as the horses inside. It was cold and sad. There were children’s toys outside on the ground around the shack of a home. What really strikes me about these types of people is that they never say they are sorry. They argue that we are wrong, insisting it wasn’t their fault, and they blame someone else. It must be some sort of mental disease. Oh, but the neatest thing is to see a starving rack of bones with dull, sunken eyes become a horse again. I can make near death look like a loved pet in one to two months (sometimes it takes three if the have more complications). They begin to nicker again. They can walk... and then even run. Their eyes glow and look peaceful and truly happy. It is the look and feel of sweet success! What happens to the people who are cited for neglecting their horses?  Do they just lose them?  Can they get them back at any time; if so, what are the criteria? If the case isn’t too severe, they are often just warned at first (sometimes multiple times). It is much more uncommon to just seize animals without the owner knowing they are being monitored. In Idaho, there are very few people who are punished adequately for animal abuse (actually it is the same in many states). But even if horses are seized, the owner can fight to keep them. However, this takes money, and if they had money in the first place, then they likely wouldn’t have starved them. So far, all the cases I have been involved

in have been when the people fight to get them back. They are also fighting because they don’t want to be found as guilty, so I suppose they need to cling to their ‘innocence.’ If they are found not guilty (which I haven’t seen so far), they can get the animals back. What I have seen is that they are guilty but have some sort of a plea agreement and get the animals back, especially if they pay for their care while they were impounded with the county (sometimes thousands of dollars if it is multiple horses for longer periods of time). As we go into the challenging winter months and face the weak economy, what are your biggest fears for horses? Death by starvation down the back roads of Anywhere, USA. What’s your general advice for animal owners who may be feeling the financial pinch when trying to care for their animals?  Are there outlets of help? People like to have horses, and one can lead to six, etc., which is too many for a lot of people. A person should own a horse only if they can afford to FLUSH $1,500-$3,000 down the toilet per year per horse. I want people to be responsible for the life they are caring for by making sure they have the money each year to invest into their horses’ needs, i.e., property, shelter, feed, water, vet and farrier care, emergencies, etc. Then again, look at people and babies. Some in our society don’t seem to care if they are married, have a job, or have financial security when they bring children into the world, so why would they have any concerns for financial security if they want a horse!  Horses are a luxury pet in the United States. I know this sounds cruel, but they aren’t cheap to own. The unwanted horse problem in the United States has made them cheap to acquire. Also, while I am on my soapbox, I blame some people who breed horses for our issues. I see the worst horses bred for the most lame reasons. So, my advice to horse people who are very concerned about taking care or and feeding their horses is to own fewer horses or no horses and never, ever breed them. Now, what to do with the unwanted horse? Sell, give away/advertise for free and screen the homes, cat sanctuary, euthanasia, horse rescue, “pay for training then sell,” etc. Horse rescues are really the only sources of help, but calls to their vet can always help because we can discuss all options and maybe even know of homes or feed. What is your general advice to anyone who observes situations where horses are being neglected? Call the police and Continued on page 48

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Currents LOU SPRINGER | On most Sundays, before the morning milking and chores, Ruth would butcher and dress five to ten chickens to sell after church. Harold delivered milk, Dorothy raised the chicks, and Lois collected eggs. Ruth’s story is not remarkable, but was born supports scraggly deciduous In 1928, Ernest and Ruth took a leap of in her ninety-three years, she witnessed trees, and the hazelnut forest is now a faith, buying 80 acres of farmland with a two World Wars, survived early hardship, dairy pasture. The little creek is gone. 3-story Victorian house for $8,000. “We struggled through the Great Depression, Ruth wrote in her family memoir, “I didn’t think we would ever get it paid and was Sunday School Superintendent graduated from eighth grade in 1910 and for. That was a lot of money to come by for thirty years. You will recognize this went to work as a hired girl for folks living in those years. Dad worked for the city, woman—and if you have been fortunate— north of McLouth.” While working there, dragging the streets, which were muddy your great aunt or grandmother has “I don’t how we got down there, but I know then. Harold had the milk route and I told you your family stories. sold baby chicks. We raked and saved Ruth Casebier McHenry was born how we got back. There were no trains, all we could and had it all paid for in December 13, 1894. Her mother, Dora, planes or buses, so the folks fixed up a 1948.” died when Ruth was two months old. American history seems so covered wagon with a big feather bed in it Her father gave her to his half sister, short when hearing it from your Melissa Mark, (herself orphaned by the and we had a cow tied to the back. Us girls grandparents. Covered wagon in Civil War) to mother. Melissa and her had the best time riding in that covered 1904, learning to drive “by myself” in husband had already ready raised six wagon for three days.” 1928, seeing the 1969 moon landing boys, but welcomed Ruth. A son lost on TV. Ah, if she, carrying and his wife and two more little girls were marrying into abolitionist beliefs, she met Ernest McHenry and they were added to the household; another death and only could have heard Obama’s Grant Park married in 1911 when she was sixteen. two more girls moved to Melissa’s. “They The young couple moved to Kansas City acceptance speech. were the best parents anyone could have,” I present parts of my Grandma’s modest where he was employed for $60 a month. Ruth wrote in her memoir. memoir to remind you of your family’s “When Ethel, Pearle and I were growing They rented rooms in a private home. “That history. For Ruth’s story is not at all up in the years 1900-1910 we lived quite is where Dorothy, our first child, was born remarkable; every one of us has descended a long way from town, so we never got to in 1912, on Edna’s Cole kitchen table. I had from strength and purpose. The American go anywhere. I started school in 1900. We a very hard time. She took too long coming story of perseverance is in the DNA of all of walked two-and-a-half miles to Eureka. because I was so young and so small. Both us. My 2009 wish is that you, dear reader, Us girls would go to the timber to gather of us nearly died. “Then Grandpa McHenry wanted us can draw upon your family inheritance. hazelnuts, pick wild flowers and wade in to move out on a farm north of McLouth the little creek. We were happy.” M&E Custom Building LLC The girls finally did get to go somewhere into an old Grange Hall. The wind just blew through that old building, liked to froze to when the family left the farm in 1904 to run Homes Built for Living a hotel for coal miners in Foster, Missouri, death, it was so cold. 1913 was such a dry about 80 miles east. Ruth writes, “I don’t year, we didn’t raise any crops. Dad had to how we got down there, but I know how work for the neighbors so we could buy we got back. There were no trains, planes food.” Working as tenant farmers on several or buses, so the folks fixed up a covered different farms, Ernest and Ruth had three wagon with a big feather bed in it and we more children. They finally settled on a had a cow tied to the back. Us girls had the small farm west of town. “We worked so hard to keep this place. best time riding in that covered wagon for Dorothy helped a lot with housework and three days.” In 1986, Ruth, my grandmother, gave Harold with the farm work. Lois almost Residential and Commercial Construction me driving directions as we meandered died with diphtheria when she was four. We Dan McMahon, General Contractor through Leavenworth County and her borrowed money to buy 15 head of heifers memories. The graveyard where her young and got started in the dairy business and Visit us at mother is buried holds a last remnant of sold milk. Dad hired so many different men pure Kansas prairie. The dell where she to work and that made work for me. We had 208.264.6700 a lot of hard work with horses to farm with.”

Arc of Time

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 44

A Seat in the House

Following each election the Idaho legislature convenes an organizational meeting of members for the purpose of electing members to leadership positions and assigning members to the various committees. The organization session of the upcoming 60 th legislature was held in Boise on December 4. The majority party (Republican) elected the same leadership team that held those positions in the last legislative session in both the Senate and the House. The minority party (Democrat) replaced all of their leadership positions in the House and changed the Assistant Minority Leader and Minority Caucus Chairman positions in the Senate. The majority and minority leadership of both houses and the members of the legislative committees can be found on the Idaho legislative website at www.legislature. As I requested of House leadership, I continue serving on the same committees as before. These are: a) Joint Finance and Appropriations b) Environment, Energy and Technology and c) Resources and Conservation. I will also continue as coChairman of the Interim Committee on Environment, Energy and Technology and will continue as one of Idaho’s delegates to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region. I will also continue to represent Idaho on the National Conference of State Legislators Advisory Committee on Energy. The first session of Idaho’s 60th legislature will commence on January 12, 2009. The first major event of the session will be Governor Otter’s State of the State Address and his budget recommendation for the legislature to consider for fiscal year 2010. I have stated in recent articles that it is going to be difficult to establish a budget for the next fiscal year because of the anticipated decrease in state revenue. Quoting Governor Otter, “We’re going from what’s nice to what’s necessary.” As we get closer to the next session the economy continues to worsen and the Governor continues to take action to keep the state fiscally sound. We are also getting more specific messages from the Governor in terms of what he sees as necessary to maintain a balanced budget for FY 2010. Governor Otter recently requested state agencies to immediately increase their FY

2009 (current fiscal year) budget reduction (holdback) another 3 percent over the 1 percent already requested for a total 4 percent reduction in current spending. He is also requesting that the agencies hold in reserve an additional 2 percent in the event that the economy continues to worsen and revenues continue to come in less than estimated. It is becoming more likely that he will have to request the additional 2 percent be held back before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2009. In addition to the cutbacks for this year we are beginning to receive signals from the Governor that he will be recommending an additional 6 percent reduction in the fiscal year 2010 budget. In summary this means that the FY 2010 budget recommendation from the Governor in his January 12 presentation will be at least 10 percent lower than that approved for the current fiscal year. This will mean major reductions in all agencies, including public schools and the entitlement programs funded by the Department of Health and Welfare. I am already receiving expressions of concern by citizens affected by the current and proposed reductions in funding. My response has to be that we: 1) Prioritize the programs in terms of the most needed and determine what programs could be eliminated with minimum impact 2) Identify what actions each agency can take to make their operation more efficient and 3) Identify and eliminate any abuses of program funding. Some argue that the legislature should consider raising taxes to avoid the budget cuts; however, because of the adverse economic condition many Idahoans are experiencing, there is not much support among legislators to approve an increase in taxes.

by George Eskridge

There is one exception, however, and that is a need to increase funding for the Idaho Department of Transportation. The condition of Idaho’s highway system is a major concern and the Governor is convinced that an increase in funding is needed immediately to prevent major deterioration of the highway system and major increases in costs in the long term that could be avoided by taking action now. The Governor will be presenting a plan for the legislature to consider for transportation funding that will require cuts in some areas of transportation and increases in others. In general he will be proposing a five year plan that will recommend a reduction in the Department’s administration costs and at the same time recommend a revenue increase by raising the fuel tax and registration fees in annual increments over the next five years. He is also expected to recommend a tax on rental cars and elimination of the ethanol exemption on the fuel tax. In conjunction with the proposed revenue increase, Governor Otter is also expected to recommend the following actions for “improving Idaho’s Transportation System:” • Set up a Governor’s task force during the summer of 2009 to study the validity and perceived inequities of the Idaho Truck Registration System and all other truck related questions on permits, weights, etc. • Request that the Idaho Tax Commission set up a system to track the sales of all tires, auto parts and auto sales starting in year one. (This may be for the purpose of compiling Continued on next page

George Eskridge is a Representative from District 1B to Idaho’s legislature. Reach him by email at geskridg@house., by phone at 208-265-0123 or by mail at PO Box 112, Dover, ID 83825

Page 45 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

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House- Continued from page 46

data to support a proposal that sales tax generated from these purchases be designated for highway funding instead of going to general funds as is done presently.) • Request that the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation show how the 3 percent (4.7 million dollars) of fuel tax revenue is spent and identify dedicated fund sources to replace this funding. • Further study the fuel tax system looking at topics such as non-fuel taxed vehicles (i.e. hybrid vehicles) and a vehicle miles tax. (The issue is that hybrid vehicles use the same highway system, but generate less fuel tax because they don’t use as much gasoline or diesel fuel that is taxed.) The transportation funding recommendation is going to be a major issue before the legislature. I believe most of the legislators recognize that there is a major highway funding problem but there is a difference of opinion in how we address the problem, both in the timing (whether it should be implemented this year) and the size of any revenue increase. I will keep the readers informed of the progress of the transportation funding issue, but would also like input from our readers on what action they think should be taken on the funding problem. I can be reached at my home phone of (208) 265-0123 or by mail at P.O. Box 112, Dover, Idaho 83825. After the session begins I can be reached in Boise by phone at 1-800-626-0471 or by e mail at I can also be reached by regular mail at P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0038. I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading! George

In Montana by Pat Williams

Next year, at this time, Montana’s Congressional Delegation can lay a wonderful gift under our Christmas tree— Wilderness. Montana’s few remaining unroaded lands deserve protection and the vast majority of our citizens want these lands to remain just as they are: wild and free. All of us realize that our state is now and will continue to undergo significant changes in our population and economy. But, as best we can, we should preserve as much of Montana’s traditional lifestyle as possible. Out our way the land is significant to that lifestyle. The great wild sweep of our prairies, valleys, ramps, and summits, the rush of our rivers’ lifeblood, the last of the nation’s great migrating land animals, the spectacular scenery; all of this and more define us. For our grandchildren’s grandchildren Montanans want to keep it just the way it is: wild, unroaded, and free. It is not an accident that we still have wild places in Montana. Many of those before us worked to achieve it. But in more recent times such efforts have faltered. It has been exactly thirty years since the Forest Service completed and sent to the U. S. Congress its Roadless Area Review and Evaluation of Montana’s and America’s wild public lands. Because only the Congress can legislate use designations over public land, it busily went about that task. The resulting Wilderness designations of wild federal land continued, state by state, for twenty years. The effort to protect the wild places has been virtually completed everywhere in the nation—with only two exceptions: Idaho and Montana. During the past decade Idaho has at least tried for Wilderness designations. Montana’s lack of

action is both disappointing and without precedent. During my years in the U. S. House of Representatives, our delegation—both Democrats and Republicans—passed several Montana Wilderness bills through the Senate and House. Once, in 1988, we came to full agreement on a single statewide bill, passed it and sent it to the White House. In a cynical, political, election year act, President Ronald Reagan executed the only veto of a Wilderness bill in American history. That veto was not only the beginning of the Wilderness Drought but it also contributed enormously to the timber industry’s inability to plan; one of the direct results of which has been the closing of dozens of timber mills and a significant reduction in harvest. It has now been fourteen years since a member of the Montana delegation has even introduced a Wilderness bill. Although many folks understand and, to some degree, appreciate the reasons for this Wilderness Drought, it is now time to end the Drought. As we do so, it will be important to recall which lands these are: public lands managed by the U. S. Forest Service, critical watersheds, spawning grounds, big game habitats, and migration corridors. There are no roads crisscrossing these lands and neither is there any snowmobiling or ORV use. This green, flourishing, wild estate is Montana’s lifestyle and legacy. Let’s finally get about protecting it.

Former Montana Congressman Pat Williams is the Northern States Director of Western Progress, and Senior Fellow at the University of Montana

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 46

Students- Continued from page  “We had to earn $672 each,” says senior Michelle Stone. “This covers the entry fee into the conference as well as plane tickets. We have to earn extra money still for food and any extra costs we encounter.” SHSMUN students also received guidance in a variety of disciplines from local volunteers and facilities. Recently, they spent part of a school day at East Bonner County Library where Susan BatesHarbuck led them through a session on research strategies. “It was a wonderful partnership between SHS and East Bonner County Library,” Smith says. “They opened the library early for us, and we had all the computers to ourselves from 8 to 10 am. Susan set up the whole thing and deserves big kudos for being impressively prepared for us.” In addition to student fundraising efforts, the MUN project, in its first year ever at SHS, has received some significant donations, including a huge initial boost of $16,925 through a Panhandle Alliance for Education “Big Idea” grant, written and submitted by Debbie Smith last spring. The grant, according to a PAFE news release, extends three years as Smith develops the class format, which “simulates the United Nations through interactive and interdisciplinary means, placing students in the role of official UN delegates.” Smith’s students will represent the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti at the MUN conference. “Course content includes current events, pressing international issues, the basics of international law and some of the protocol and procedures of diplomacy which will prepare students to participate in the New York conference,” the PAFE release states. Smith, in her fourteenth year as an SHS social science instructor, has worked with MUN classes in California. In those cases, MUN activities were funded through the school districts, which, she says, “were ecstatic to have teachers willing to put in the work involved... and paid for student costs. “In my early teaching years, I organized political science clubs at the two high schools where I taught and involved students in mock trial competitions, Model Congress, Model United Nations and National History Day competition,” Smith explains. “I have always thought SHS should offer our students an opportunity

to participate in these national social studies activities.” Several years ago, she even wrote a course description for such a class. It remained but a dream until last year when parent Lydia Stitsel, who’d heard about MUN from a relative, wrote to principal Dr. Becky Kiebert inquiring about the possibility a similar program being instituted at SHS. The ball started rolling. Smith checked for student interest and received overwhelming response. “I was surprised and heartened at how many parents said they would pay the full amount of the cost of the trip,” she says. She also received enthusiastic blessings from Dr. Kiebert and school district superintendent Dr. Dick Cvitanich prior to applying for the PAFE grant. As the program develops, SHS students will be able to take MUN class for four years. Smith says the class resembles the SHS Academic Decathlon program. Eventual plans call for upper class students to attend national conferences and for ninth and tenth graders taking the class as a prerequisite and possibly attending a regional MUN conference. “National High School MUN conferences began 35 years ago,” according to Nick Stefanizzi, Secretary-General for the 2009 NHSMUN gathering. “For over a quarter of a century,” Stefanizzi writes in a welcoming letter to delegates, “NHSMUN has simulated international diplomacy with the mandate of educating high school delegates from across the globe about real-world solutions to some of the most eminent crises that threaten the political stability of our increasingly-globalized society.” When the students arrive New York, they’ll be armed with information dealing with convention committee topics such as Conventional Arms, Myanmar, Conflict in Western Sahara, Building Accountability within the United Nations, etc. The class is divided into two groups each representing either Ethiopia or Djibouti, both countries in the horn of Africa. Within the groups, student pairs are researching committee topics and gaining thorough understanding of the topic. In mid-February, the students will also mail in country reports to conference committee chairs, with each submission following strict MUN rules. Then, the class will spend the next month simulating their actual responsibilities while participating

at the conference. “Students have to thoroughly understand the topic: world, regional and their own country’s opinion on the issue,” Smith explains. “They are not allowed to pre-write resolutions as they are supposed to write up the resolutions (proposed solutions to the problem) at the conference.” This preparation includes Smith’s guidance on research, proper wording of a resolution, protocol and appropriate attire, required during the conference. “The opening and closing ceremonies happen at the United Nations headquarters in New York City,” Smith adds. “It’s a massive undertaking. I’m excited about this. I’m not sure I realized how time consuming this would be for me. I do know, however, that the first year of doing anything is the hardest, so that keeps me going....” If former SHS teacher Mike Flaim’s assessment of the program is any indication of its potential for students, Smith and her class could be considered respected pioneers as SHS-MUN continues to develop. Since leaving Sandpoint, Flaim has taught for five years at The American School of The Hague in the Netherlands where the student population of 1,065 represents 64 nationalities. He has coached a MUN delegation. “I was asked to help out with MUN my first year at ASH,” Flaim says. “We have three weekend events in the year and one enormous event in January in The Hague (3,000-plus kids). MUN is valuable preparation for the real world,” he adds, “from product and process to presentation, it attempts to mirror the real UN... the program trains [kids] in public Continued on page 49

Photos: Above-Sophia Meulenberg in her exquisite Pakistani ensemble. First page, inset: Michelle Stone models her Scottish ensemble during the classroom dress rehearsal for the SHSMUN International Night at Talus Rock Retreat Center. Photo of UN flags provided courtesy M Marmit.

Page 47 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Dr. Neu

- Continued from page 43

report it. Nobody likes a tattletale, but most people don’t call unless there is truly a problem. I also don’t mind taking these calls because I can also help people on what direction to go. How do you deal with your personal emotions when you encounter animals and their owners suffering? I am usually able to detach myself a little from the pain (otherwise I would be crying endlessly at every euthanasia, and some days there can be up to four). I do believe I am truly relieving animal’s suffering, and I also believe animals have souls and are headed straight to Heaven. So I have peace. I do not perform euthanasia if it does not leave me feeling ethically and morally ‘okay.’ (For example, a healthy animal, but the owner is moving or an owner doesn’t want to feed it for another winter, etc.) Once in awhile I am unable to be the strongest one, and I am right there tearing up with the owner and grabbing hankies.  That most often happens when I am a close friend of the owner, the owner is a big tough ‘man’s man’ (and he is shedding tears), or the case just seems so very sad (like an owner who has the pet as their only close friend, or their husband just died, etc.).   What’s the strangest/wackiest situation you’ve ever encountered as a veterinarian?  I do keep notes about some of the strangest cases and experiences that I’ve been through, so I have a few to pick from. One that always makes me laugh is a story about cows. Cow work is never predictable or safe. A family that runs a few beef cows needed Bangs vaccines on three heifers. This vaccine’s protocol is regulated by the state and must be done between 4 and 12 months of age. Of course, these heifers were 11 months and three weeks old, and big to boot. Two old farmers and a couple of other relatives had been rounded up to help. (I always try to make sure ahead of time that there will

be a little bit of extra help when I go out on cow calls. Somehow things never go as planned, and the fees are low, so time is of the essence.)

heifer was barely contained. We raced to the heifer in the chute, vaccinated, tattooed and ear-tagged her before she broke her neck. The chute then crashed onto its side

Abused and/or neglected horses are a shameful problem for a community. If you believe you know of any abused or neglected animal, please call your local sheriff’s office. After a little (maybe a lot) of yelling and bolting of cattle, three heifers were lined up in the alley, ready to go into their rusty old chute. The family members were cursing and hollering at each other as they let the first heifer into the chute. She saw it as a chance to run for freedom and hit the chute at 90 miles and hour. In slow motion the chute lifted from its rotted base and teetered on the front edge. For a moment I thought it might crash back into place. Unfortunately for the cow, the chute continued its original motion and planted the cow on her head with the chute and her tail sticking straight up in the air. In the meantime, the middle heifer took her chance and raced out the opening made from the chute sliding forward. The third

and, after much sweating, we were able to loosen the rickety contraption and set her free. We took care of the cow in the alley by snubbing her to a post. Getting everything done for a Bangs vaccine this way is not as easy as it sounds. Now, we just had the free heifer to catch, which was also not as easy as it sounds. We all ran. Fences were jumped. Horses and ignorant dogs were used...grain buckets, 4wheelers and tractors, etc. Two and a half hours and a big rain storm later, the cow was last seen ripping out a 4-strand barbed wire fence headed into the back country. She knew better than to take any chances with that chute. I collected my $20 dollars for the two vaccines and a little more for the ranch call fee and headed out.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 48


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Striped Therapist Dies at Home A Celebration of Life Memorial Service was held to honor Maggie Mae, the mental health zebra. Maggie Mae died from colic. Some believe this was secondary to depression suffered due to the recent passing of her companion horse, Lady, who was laid to rest at age 30 just three weeks earlier. Many people remember Maggie Mae from her debut at the 2006 Athol Daze when she won second place in the parade and earned her title of “Mental Health Zebra.” Others remember seeing her on TV, or from their visit to the North Idaho Fair or even having their picture taken with her at Halloween when she was dressed up in her pink fairy princess costume in front of a local pizza restaurant. Or you may have met her for the first time in the pages of the River Journal just last month. Maggie Mae went to work with her human, Kristina L. Nicholas Anderson, where she was beginning to work in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy where she interacted with patients who sought treatment for mental health problems. As a therapy animal, she had quite an impact on many individuals in this community as well as people across the nation due to the ground-breaking work she was in the process of doing.

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Regardless of how people knew her, all who met her loved her. If you should require additional assistance in dealing with this loss, or another loss of a pet of your own, please feel free to contact Diversified Social Services, Inc. and they will be happy to assist or direct you to resources specific to pet loss and grief. Their offices can be reached at: 208-762-9890.

MUN- Continued from page 47 speaking and debate, gives them the chance to defend their views or event take on views that differ from their own. That process helps their world view. “It is a great test of intelligence and conviction to debate an issue of profound importance in the world,” he says. “From Darfur to Sudanese pirates; from Global Warming to drilling for oil in Antarctica; from Financial Crisis to International Trade Relations, these kids take on extremely important issues.  It’s a great opportunity to deeply understand issues.” Flaim encourages the Sandpoint community to continue its generous support of SHS-MUN. “No high school program offers students such deep involvement in and understanding of law.  Add this program, fund this program, watch your students sink their teeth into truly profound issues for our future and their own,” he says.  “Sandpoint is not in a capital city. It is difficult to see law in action and difficult to find its relevance to real issues. MUN provides that opportunity.” Anyone wishing to contribute time or financial donations to SHSMUN can contact Smith at Sandpoint High School, 410 South Division, Sandpoint, ID 83864, telephone 208-263-3034. Donations are tax deductible.

Page 49 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009



As we begin a new year I have several unanswered questions from last year. As a market watcher I pay attention to what the so-called experts on economics have to say. As the crisis worsened there seemed to be an ongoing question about whether or not we were in a recession. As late as October that determination had not been made. Then around December first we are told that we have been in a recession all year. Q. Who makes such decisions and where have they been? As a long time driver in Sandpoint I have observed that over the years the curb lining the northeast corner of Fifth and Pine has been slowly but surely eroding. The big trucks following U.S. 2 seem to always manage to run over the curb. When that part of the intersection was re-done in conjunction with the Panhandle State Bank’s off-site parking, I thought surely the radius would be eased. Not so. When a log truck overturned on December fifth, it probably was tipped because it ran up on the curb. Q. Why didn’t the powers that be recognize the problem and fix it? Now that gasoline prices have eased and Joe the Plumber can do his job without

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the crushing burden of high priced gas, that is a little sunshine in an otherwise bleak picture. There could have been some help earlier if the federal and state taxes on gasoline had been lowered. So now prices are down and the old SUVs are being dusted off. Things are more like normal, whatever that is. Q. So why does Governor Otter think it’s time to restore the pain of higher gas prices by raising the gasoline tax? As the crisis deepens it is apparent that revenues from us taxpayers will fall. State, county and other entities will have to reexamine their budgets. The operative term is shortfall. You would think it timely to review some proposed expenditures. Q. Why doesn’t the Governor plug a 90million-dollar-plus hole by putting off the so called Byway? One of the bad things about paint that comes in spray cans is that it can be mis-used. I have had my experience with plugged nozzles and too much paint but I seldom paint things that shouldn’t be painted. Q. Where in the hell do these punks that put graffiti in public places come from? Bailing out the economy is an ongoing subject. I don’t believe there is any joy in seeing someone fail unless you have long felt the guy selling you a car was some sort

of enemy. There is no question but that our domestic automobile industry in trouble. They need to do something to get right. Q. Why should Sam Six-Pack, who makes $15 an hour (no benefits) bail out a UAW worker who makes $74 an hour (including benefits)? During the past Presidential cycle every candidate endorsed solutions to the energy problem including building all sources and eliminating coal-fired plants. Obama comes along, now that the election is over, and purportedly likes a guy as Secretary of the Interior from Oregon who wants to breach the dams on the lower Snake River. Q. How on earth can anyone believe that breaching a hydro electric plant is a step in the right direction? At year’s end the funny guys recycle all the fruit cake jokes. Makes you wonder whose fruit cake they have been exposed to. I, for one, like the fruit cake my wife makes and when that fails there is a plant in Texas, Collins Street Bakery, that also makes good fruit cakes. If you still want to be part of the anti-fruit cake crowd it is because you have not added enough ‘sauce.’ Duh Q. What in the world is wrong with fruit cake? Let’s get better. Happy New Year.

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January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 50

US 95-

Continued from page 

stories of cannibalism of the frozen bodies by survivors. Of the 87 in the party, 39 died and 48 survived, after several rescue groups brought provisions to them. Reno, Nevada popped out of the mist, after descending along the Truckee River out of the higher country. For most of the rest of the way I would be in high desert. During the route from Reno to Winnemucca, I passed the Senator Fumaroles. These were a series of steam vents in a straight line paralleling the freeway. A crack in the rock there showed many steam plumes over about a mile of terrain. It was quite remarkable. Salt flats appeared so white, it looked pure enough to set the table with. All along this stretch were mines, either active or played out. Nevada boasts more precious minerals and metals than the rest of the country combined. Winnemucca, the gateway to Idaho and rejoining of US 95, was achieved painlessly, but it was the last time. Starting up US 95, one encounters Oregon and the Jordan Valley after about 80 miles. After entering Oregon, “The goat trail,” started to live up to it’s name. After traveling for what seemed

North of Winnemucca

forever, passing through Burns Junction the town of Jordan Valley appeared at the foot of the troublesome Mahogany Mountains. There, US 95 started living up to it’s name. Oh, and did I mention that for all those miles, Oregon had a 55 MPH speed trap ... er, limit? Finally I descend into the Treasure Valley. A quick jaunt across the floor of the valley and I’m headed for Lewiston, right? Huh-uh. Every town along the valley floor through Caldwell, Nampa, Payette and other forgotten names felt it their civic


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Page 51 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

The Cheap Seats

by Hanna Hurt

I was sitting in Economics class the other day, just learning away, and all of a sudden, my mind went, “hey!” Sorry for that rhyming bit, but that really was how it all went down. I was sitting in class and we were discussing the world today and you know what? It’s not a very inspiring picture. As a senior, somewhere in the back recesses of your mind you realize that this is the last year that you are safe and sheltered from the inner workings of the adult-mentoring, systematic, community/socioeconomic drift and what not and so forth. Of course, this will be the year, right on the edge of a huge economic shift, in which I get tossed into the world (shot out of a cannon, more like). It can be either exciting or it could be a complete disaster... either way it’s fun, yeah? Don’t believe me? I guess it is a matter of perception, but hear me out. All you see in the news these days is bad news, but it’s generally laughable. Take, for instance, this car bailout situation. Every day you’ve got some new twist, some new sparkly piece sprinkled over the situation. First, flying in on private jets (nobody likes that), then Ford’s position which deserved a good pat on the back, now it looks likely they’ll get a bailout, oh, wait! Now we don’t want to give them a penny. This seesawing tug-of-war stuff is making me dizzy. I just read something on that stated the North and South are colliding on the issue as they did during the Civil War years. If that’s not humorous then I don’t know what is. It is headline news each time one of these car makers sneezes in negotiation. We even give them a title—The Big Three—like they’re crime-fighting super-heroes and not corporate clones. When will the government understand its own FreeEnterprise system? Ah, yes, there really is no business like show business. Of course, that’s only one story that is covered daily like some sort of serial daytime soap opera. How about the excessive Obama coverage? At the time I write this, President-elect Obama has not been in office a single day, yet he is getting badgered and praised from all angles for his policies and even his social and physical attributes. If it’s not

color, it’s upbringing. If it’s none of those it’s completely obscure stories like “Mr. Obama, who are you wearing? You look fabulous!” I suppose you can’t blame everyone for the majority of this publicity. I will agree it is a pivotal moment in history. I guess everyone is just excited, I mean, we won’t have to hear many more speeches in an exaggerated southern drawl, complete with pauses in between every other word and open-mouth gaping. For those of you who will miss this, I am sure someone will make a George W. drawstring doll. It would be great fun, but I doubt it would be a very educational toy. Grammar alone would probably knock it off the Fisher Price product list. No, we really can’t get much worse than where we are now, economically. With hope, Obama can throw us a little stepping stool so as we can climb out of this hole, but really, we should wait and see how he reacts inside the Oval Office before we light the torches. So, there you have it, a summary of breaking news in America this week. Of course, there are the odds and ends; the scandals, the stock market, the riots and the demonstrations, foreclosures, depression, recession, bankruptcy and even pirates! I guess the days of waterskiing squirrels in the news are long gone. You may now understand my concern about being thrown into the middle of this mess next year. Assuming a ‘business as usual’ attitude could be explosive, though. It doesn’t look like a good year for business. I guess in the end, you have to laugh to keep yourself from losing your mind.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 52

Housing- Continued from page  housing, keeping ownership and/or rents affordable. EAH is absolutely the best money you will ever spend. Investing in your foundation— your employees—pays the best dividends around! You will be recognized for your leadership. How gratifying would it be to help even one employee experience the American Dream—a secure and affordable home of their own? EAH Programs can remove the biggest barriers to home-ownership. This includes the lack of understanding the homebuying process; the availability of cash for down payment; affordability; and financial literacy. Through an employer’s commitment to affordable housing, an employee’s lifestyle is enhanced, they have an opportunity to build equity and experience increased job satisfaction, increased productivity and loyalty to the employer. This is a clear win-win for everyone. What will it cost an employer? There are endless options from no-cost to high cost. Examples of low or no-cost to an employer would be to simply provide homebuyer education, credit counseling, and links to existing resources. All three of these services are available through BCHA. The first in a series of classes is scheduled to begin on January 24. More moderate cost solutions include grants to cover closing costs or first/last month’s deposits (BCHA can help you establish these or to qualify); forgivable loans, with time and service required of the employee; deferred or repayable loans; providing funds for home improvement loans to increase safety or reduce energy costs or accommodate elderly parents living in the same home; interest rate buydowns and matched savings accounts (in addition to retirement) to help employees save for a down payment. The last three items can be provided as part of your commercial banking package. Those willing to spend more might consider shared appreciation; lease-to-own housing; master leases (a guarantee to the developer/builder to a certain number of employee residents); mortgage guarantees that cover closing costs or down payments, or allow for graduated mortgage payments; employer-developed housing; matching funds and/or tax credits; the donation of land for affordable housing; or participation in the employer housing trust fund. The creative options are many, none of

which require re-inventing the wheel. Here are some encouraging examples: One area was trying to support teacher recruitment and retention to combat a 20 percent annual turnover rate. Another area was suffering recruitment and retention problems from a labor shortage and lack of affordable housing. A local non-profit provided down payment assistance and low-interest purchase loans. An EAH provided loan guarantees and below market first mortgages with graduatedpayment features. Another EAH program looking to revitalize neighborhoods provided deferred payment and closing cost assistance to employees, and other neighborhood residents for rehab of older buildings and new construction. In an extremely high-cost area, EAH provided homebuyer education and down payment assistance plus a 2-year leaseto-own program with built-in counseling. They partnered with a local lender to secure very favorable financing for their employees in return for certain corporate banking arrangements. In order to provide a rental assistance program to support recruitment and retention of new employees, an EAH provided up to 3 years rental assistance, a pay difference between market and 28 percent of gross income. Are you encouraged by what your involvement can do? Call BCHA President Andy Chapman at 208-255-4264 to find out more. Your membership will provide training and education resources, provide networking and advocacy, work with you to collaborate and develop policy alternatives and funding sources, and help establish a community land trust. Be a part of a ‘Respected and Unified Voice’ to create work-force housing in Bonner County. Join BCHA today!


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Page 53 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Stampede- Continued from page 

retired to Sandpoint. I thought I’d work part time at Schweitzer and ski a lot. Then law, your rotten neighbor, whoever. It’s a I got denied for ski reporting.” Luckily that lot of fun.” denial didn’t hold, and Jeff had a chance to The pair also plays music, of course, hear how Derik worked. the station’s signature blend of “today’s “I had this brainchild to pile us together stars and the country legends,” but it’s the and go crazy,” Jeff said. At first, the chemistry between the hosts that draws Stampede was a three-way effort, with their listeners. Jimmy Silver added into the mix. It was Jimmy and Derik, in fact, who came up with the final idea that became the Stampede. Then Silver took over the radio’s Afternoon Drive, also on K102, and the Morning Stampede came into its own. “People think we just come in and talk,” Jeff said, “but it’s really not that simple.” Jeff arrives at the station, located on Marion just off Hwy. 2 in Sandpoint, at 1:45 each morning to begin research for the On a “Commando Wednesday” in the studio, the show. He trolls various best photo is from the waist up. Derik Walker is news and sports sources on the Internet to put together on the left, Jeff McLean on the right. the news not only for K102, but for KPND and The “If I’m gonna be up that early, I need Point, as well. “It’s a lot of work for three someone to help me keep my eyes open,” stations,” he said. Derik joins him at 4 am said Joanna Spencer, night manager at Zips and they begin to make promos and think in Sandpiont, where K102 plays much of the about their show for the day. “People think day. “I just moved to town recently, and I we know everything,” laughed Jeff, “but we just love their personalities. They also give don’t. We’re just two regular guys.” good information about roads and what’s Although the show is somewhat going on, but it’s the way they do it that unstructured, there are also some rules they makes me listen—they manage to make follow. “The first rule is to have fun and be me visualize what they’re doing. Like the yourself,” said Jeff. “What you hear on the air country month they did recently—it just is real—it’s not really planned or contrived. cracked me up. I don’t even have a favorite And there’s no cussing,” he added. part of their show,” she added. “I like it all. “You have to teach yourself not to say They keep you involved.” um,” threw in Derik. “And you don’t want Although listeners may feel like Derik and to say things the same way all the time— Jeff are old friends, the Morning Stampede you want to keep it varied.” hasn’t yet been around a year. The show “If you’re having a bad day, you really have first began broadcasting on March 3 of to let it go,” added Jeff, who last winter piled 2008—Derik’s birthday, though he doesn’t the radio van into the ditch on Granite Hill say which one. And Derik, at least, wasn’t and then, after being rescued, went on the even a deejay when he started. air. “It’s almost like a customer service job. “I’d listened to Derik doing the snow “I’ve wanted to be in radio since I report from Schweitzer,” Jeff said, “and I was a kid,” he added. “I wanted to be a thought he’d be really fun to work with. He sportscaster. I took a class in high school, was really good.” and went to work for radio in Coeur d’Alene Dylan Benefield, general manager for in 1980.” In 2002 he joined the Blue Sky K102’s parent, Blue Sky Broadcasting, Broadcasting team in Sandpoint, and has agreed and Derik was asked to come in to been on the air ever since. talk about a job. “Country, by far, is my favorite type of “I thought it was a joke, so I never came music,” he said. “It’s the most honest and (down to the station),” laughed Derik. “I’m wholesome. It’s all about life, about stories. just a traveling bum,” he added. “I ran a And the artists are pleasant,” he adds. “I’ve wholesale company for 15 years, and then

never had to deal with a bad one.” There’s plenty of opportunity to find out what country music performers are like. “What I like best about the job is sending out text messages to all these country stars and they text me back,” said Derik. Jeff says one of his favorite things to do is outreach—”Get out the vote was great, and going out to various remotes.” Want to know how to get a visit from the pair? Just give the station a call. “We’re just waiting to be asked,” said Jeff. They both agree, however, it’s the listeners—especially those who take the time to call in—who make the show special. “It’s live and it’s interactive,” Derik said. “We talk to everybody—it’s an opendoor policy here.” Robin said she’s not one of those who has called in. “I’ve had to compete to get through!” she laughed. “I’ve tried to guess the secret sound but never got through on the phone. That’s a good thing,” she added, “as I would have been wrong.” Whether she talks to them or not, however, Robin is still a fan. “I’ve been here for 26 years and this (show) is the best I’ve ever heard. The first thing I do in the morning is turn the radio on.” Because radio reaches us only through our ears, listeners create their own vision of what the Morning Stampede must look like. “I wouldn’t want to guess what they look like,” said Joanna, “but I’d guess that Jeff is the youngest one.” On location at a remote broadcast Jeff conducted for the grand opening of the new Goodwill store in Sandpoint, a lady approached where he stood with the mic. “I just wanted to see what he looked like,” she said, though she didn’t want to give her name. Did he meet her expectation? “Well, I thought he’d be younger,” she confided. Yes, Jeff is the older one (on the right in the photo above) and Derik (on the left) is the younger. Although the hours they keep don’t quite match with the world around them, all in all, it’s a dream job, the pair agree. “Every day I think to myself, “Wow, I’m getting paid for this!” said Derik. Jeff says simply, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.” If you’ve never heard the Morning Stampede, and want to get up early enough to catch the boys live, you can find them on your FM radio dial at 102.3 in Spokane, at 102.1 in Bonners Ferry, or at 102.5 in Sandpoint. If you’d like to try figuring out the Secret Sound, or just want to give Jeff or Derik a call, you can reach them on the hotline at 800-574-5102.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 54

preceded in death by infant twin brothers, his wife, Marie, infant daughter, Evonn Marie, parents, four sisters and four brothers.


Coffelt Funeral Home, Sandpoint, Idaho.

Get complete obituaries online at


Avis W Crowder, 85, passed away on Monday, December 8, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Funeral services are pending. Avis was born in Hurley, New Mexico on February 27, 1923, the daughter of Jerome and Elizabeth Crowder. In 1941 she graduated from high school in Clifton, Ariz. She graduated from Mt Zion Hospital in San Francisco, Calif., with a 4-year nursing degree, as a Registered Nurse. She worked as a missionary nurse for 3 years. She returned to Napa, Calif, continuing her nursing career until retiring in 1977. In 1986 she moved to Sandpoint to be with her family. She attended the Sagle Baptist Church, participating in prayer groups, and bible studies. She always enjoyed reading. Avis is survived by her sister, numerous “adopted” grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Kenneth A. Syth, 87, of Clark Fork, passed away Monday, December 8, at Life Care Center in Sandpoint, Idaho. Funeral services took place at Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel, with Pastor Jon Pomeroy, Sandpoint Church of God, officiating. Private interment followed at Pinecrest Cemetery. Ken was born March 11, 1921 in Greenwood, Wisc., one of 18 children, born to William and Helen Stoneburg Syth. He was raised in Montana and as a young man worked with the CCC near Missoula, Mont. While working with the CCC he helped construct Lolo Pass and Farragut Naval Base. On April 1, 1941 he married Marie E. Honberger at Glendive, Mont. In the mid 1940s the family moved to Clark Fork, where he has since resided. He worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad for 37 years prior to his retirement. Mr. Syth loved dancing, and would always be the first on the dance floor. He enjoyed traveling, and visited Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Glacier Park in Montana, and Waterton Glacier Park in Canada, Jackson Hole, and California. He was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed hunting, riding motorcycles, snowmobiles, and as recently as September of this year was riding ATVs. However, of all the things he enjoyed his family was his greatest joy. He is survived by four children, 8 grandchildren, five siblings,13 great-grandchileren, 1 greatgreat- grandchild and two sisters-in-law. He was

Delbert Ray Allen, 81, passed away on Saturday, December 13, at his home in Laclede, Idaho. Memorial services were conducted at the Laclede Community Church. Pastor Dan Moore officiated. Delbert was born in Ainsworth, Neb. on September 24, 1927 where he grew up and attended school. He enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17, at the close of WW II. He served two tours of duty during the occupation of Japan. He worked for the Hines Lumber Company in Burns, Ore. and followed construction work in the West. He later worked for the Bureau of Land Management, in the Humboldt National Forest, in California. He managed and did maintenance work in the recreational areas of the Humboldt National Forest. He retired from the BLM in 1980 and moved to Laclede. He was married to Grace Louise Allen and she preceded him in death in 1987. He worked as a security Guard for Riley Creek Lumber Company for four years and married Betty Allen on August 21, 1988 in Silverton, Ore. He was a member of the Laclede Community Church, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Portland, Ore., and a longtime Grange member. He was active in the Priest River Food Bank, and always willing to help those in need. He is survived by his wife Betty Allen, six children, nine grandchildren, nine greatgrandchildren, one sister and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Grace, three brothers, one sister and his baby daughter Alba Ray. Memorials may be made to the Priest River Food Bank, in care of Karla Hatfield, 1047 Peninsula Road, Priest River, ID 83856 in memory of Delbert Allen.


Arleta W. Howell, 87, of Sandpoint, Idaho died Saturday, December 13, at Meadow Ridge. Memorial services were conducted at Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. Pastor Brian Noble, Sandpoint Assembly of God Church, officiated. Arleta was born November 19, 1921 to Gus A. Rieschick and Edna Henderson Rieschick in Beloit, Kan. She married Coyne Sequoyah Howell in 1940 and they started their family. In 1953 they moved to Sandpoint and raised their children. She worked as a Nurse’s Aide at Sandpoint Manor Nursing Home, the present Valley Vista Care Center, earning her CNA license. She then moved on to clean house for several prominent families in the area, later working for Bonner General Hospital, cleaning the lab for Bill Crouse. Arleta always referred to the people in the lab as her kids. There are several generations of people in the area who considered her Mom, Grandmother and Friend. She will be greatly missed by all. She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, one brother, and one son, Dwight David Howell. She leaves behind many friends, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. The whole family sends a special Thank You to the many people who helped care for their mother, their best friend.


Jeremy Ray “Jay” Witt, 37, passed away in Sandpoint, Idaho on Sunday evening, December 14. Memorial services were conducted the Sandpoint Church of the Nazarene. The pastors of the Church of the Nazarene officiated. Jeremy was born in Sandpoint on March 11, 1971 the son of Gary and Candy Witt. He grew up in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, graduating from Bonners Ferry High School in 1989. He attended North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and served with the U.S. Army during peacetime. In 1998 he moved to Sandpoint and married Kathleen Maisel on December 18, 1999. He worked for the Unicep Corporation and was currently employed by Litehouse Custom Printing. Jay was a member of the Sandpoint Church of the Nazarene. He enjoyed music, playing his guitar, and participating in all outdoor activities and sports. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons, his father and mother, two grandmothers, a brother, a sister, and his in-laws. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive. He was preceded in death by his two grandfathers.


Cecelia Mae Paris, 85, passed away at her home on Sunday, December 14. Funeral services were conducted at Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. Pastor Paul Graves officiated. Private family interment will be held later in Pinecrest Memorial Park. Cecelia was born in the little town of Brockton, Mont. to Charles Albert Snyder and Cecelia Mae Peppingeron on July 17, 1923, where her parents were also born and married. She had five sisters

and three brothers. Cecelia came to Sandpoint via horse and wagon with her parents and siblings in 1925. Her father, Charles worked on the railroad in a local sawmill until his death in 1930. Her mother, Cecelia remarried Jonny Umback. Cecelia and her mother remained very close until her mother’s death in 1957. Cecelia married Jack Ridley and together they had two daughters, Cecelia Mae Kirkland and Annette Kay Purcell. After Jack’s untimely death in WWII Cecelia met the love of her life, Sammie Eugene Paris and they were married February 10, 1946 in Thompson Falls, Mont. Together they had a son, Sam Paris. For many years she worked for Dub Lewis at Dub’s Drive In. Cecelia spent her life caring for her family. She pledged her devotion to her husband Sam and took great pride in tending to his every need and loving him from the bottom of her heart. Her door was always open and whenever you came to her home, she very much wanted to make sure you were well fed. She will always be remembered for these five words “What can I get ya?” She is survived by her husband Sam; her children, 12 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Page 55 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

death by his father in 1991.


Lakeview Funeral Home, Sandpoint, Idaho. Get complete obituaries online at



Elvin Joseph “Eli” Holt, 30, passed away on Thursday, November 27, in Sagle, Idaho. Funeral services were held at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint with Charley Packard officiating.  Eli was born on April 27, 1978 in Sandpoint, Idaho to Dale Holt and Jackie Jennings.  He grew up in Oregon and Idaho with seven brothers and sisters, and many friends. He attended local schools including, Farmin Stidwell Elementary, Sandpoint Middle School, and Sandpoint High School. He will be remembered as a caring father, loving son and a well-respected friend.  Eli was known for his charm and witty sense of humor, a person who could put a smile on your face by simply walking into a room. Eli was a great source of pride for his parents, and inspiration for his friends. He walked through life free and happy, making sure that those he cared about were taken care of no matter what the cost. Eli enjoyed helping people, protecting others, and he was especially good with little children. He is survived by his father, mother, two grandparents, four sisters, three brothers, three step-sisters, one step-brother, and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Elvin and Josephine Holt. Eli, you are a rare breed and we are all very sorry we could not help to protect you, but know in our hearts we love you very much and your spirit will live on through all of us.  You have truly given a gift to all that had the privilege of meeting you and the joy that you have brought into many lives.


Thomas Edward Hotz, III, 58, passed away on Sunday, November 30, in Sandpoint, Idaho. A memorial honoring Tom will be held in the spring. Tom was born on September 30, 1950 in La Mesa, Calif. to Thomas Edward, II and Bev Hotz. He grew up on a farm in Alpine, Calif. After graduating high school he went on to earn a degree from Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa. Tom operated a chiropractic office in El Cajon, Calif. for 10 years prior to moving to Sandpoint in 1985. Tom did carpentry work in Sandpoint, and in 1994 met Linda. He enjoyed playing the guitar, fishing, hunting, and camping. He will be greatly missed by Linda in Ponderay, his mother, and his sister. He was preceded in

Marianne Johnson Finlay, 92, passed away on Wednesday, December 10, in Sandpoint, Idaho, 17 days before her 93rd birthday with her three children by her side. A celebration of Marianne’s life will be held in Sandpoint sometime in the summer of 2009 and will be announced. Marianne was born on December  27, 1915 in Lincoln, Neb. to Henry Theodore and Edna (Miller) Johnson. She spent her early youth in Omaha. In 1932, after numerous moves seeking help for her tubercular father, the family settled in Redlands, Calif. After graduating from Redlands High School in 1933, she attended Scripps College where she studied the Humanities and served as president of her graduating class in 1937. She served on the Board of Trustees at Scripps College in the 1960s.   Marianne quickly put her talents to good use as national chairman of young voters for Pro America, a political organization whose purpose was to interest and inform young woman about current issues. She continued her civic involvement during the war as chairman of the San Bernardino unit of the Committee for the Army and Navy. In 1945 she was one of the founders of “Footlighters,” Redlands’ little theater group. During the mid-50s she was on the Board of the Redlands Day Nursery and served as president in 1957 and 1958. In 1978 she became volunteer art curator for Redlands Community Hospital. Over a period of 20 years she amassed a collection of over 600 paintings to bring warmth and comfort to that otherwise sterile clinical environment. This, after her family, was her proudest achievement. For her contribution to the arts she was a 2007 Town and Gown honoree at the University of Redlands. In 1940 she married Madison Finlay and celebrated 67 years of happiness with him until his death in 2007. The Finlays were avid golfers and were part of a small group that saved the Redlands Country Club from dissolution after World War II. Marianne won many tournaments and continued playing golf into her 90s. They played at Hidden Lakes, The Spokane Country Club and Marianne was an honorary lifetime member of the local Elks course. Since 1961 the Finlays have spent summers here on Lake Pend Oreille. Marianne founded the art program at Bonner General Hospital in 2000 and remained active in that endeavor until her death. After a hospital stay in October she donated a painting she purchased from local artist Lori Moore in honor of the BGH nurses who gave her exemplary care. She is survived by her children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Madison, and one sister. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Bonner General Hospital Art Program, 520 N. Third, Sandpoint, ID 83864 or Scripps College Annual Fund for Scholarship Aid, 1030 Columbia Ave., Claremont, CA, 91711.


Thomas Walker “Tom the Bomb” passed away in his sleep, December 14, in Sandpoint, Idaho at the age of 94. Funeral Services were held in Portland, Ore.

Tommy was born on August 13, 1914, in Portland to Andrew M. Walker and Frances Elizabeth Nye Walker. He grew up in Portland, where he attended school, and played hockey and baseball. During the Depression, Tommy joined the CCCs, working to build roads in southern Oregon. He then went to work on the docks as a longshoreman. During World War II, Tommy entered the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He was part of the D-Day invasion force landing and fighting on Omaha Beach in Normandy France on June 6, 1944. He fought during the Battle of the Bulge and throughout Germany until the end of the war. While in the Army he fought as a boxer. After the war, Tommy returned to Portland and resumed his career as a longshoreman working as a walking boss until retiring in 1976. Tommy enjoyed attending the I.L.W.U. annual picnics at Oaks Park and Cullaby Lake. Tommy married Audrey Belton in 1943. Audrey passed away in 1984. In 1986 he married Betty Jean Lawson Feyen. Tommy was the “Pappy of Mushball”, playing mushball in Portland Leagues for many years. Playing into his 70s, he was a feared opponent when he was on the pitcher’s mound. Tommy enjoyed salmon and steelhead fishing. He also enjoyed collecting coupons and shopping, trying to get the best bargains he could find.  He was a member of I.L.W.U. Local 92, Portland Elks # 142, and Gateway Elks #2411. In May , Tommy moved with his wife Betty to Sandpoint to live with and be cared for by family.  Tommy’s love, kindness, generosity, sense of humor and attitude towards life will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Betty Jean Walker, five step-sons, one step-daughter, one nephew, two nieces, numerous grandchildren as well as numerous great-nephews and great-nieces.He is preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Audrey, five brothers, one sister, and four nephews. At Tommy’s request, please direct remembrances and memorials to: I.L.W.U. Local 8, 2435 NW Front Avenue, Portland, OR, 97209.


George Getz Koenig, 67, passed away on Tuesday, December 16, in Sandpoint, Idaho. He will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with memorial services to be held at a later date. George was born on July 24, 1941 in Philadelphia, Penn. to Edward and Saray Koenig.  He grew up and attended schools in the Philadelphia area. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 16, and retired 23 years later. He spent most of his military career stationed in Germany, and he did two tours in Vietnam. He married Olivia Stone in Massachusetts in 1961, and they divorced 3 years later.  In 1988 he moved to Sandpoint, Idaho to be closer to family.  He will be greatly missed by his family and friends here and in Germany. He was a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He enjoyed his golden retriever “Rudy,” bowling, and boating. He is survived by his daughter, two sisters, and an aunt. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his son Edward K. Koenig. Memorial donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, 211 S. Lincoln, Sandpoint, ID 83864; or the Panhandle Animal Shelter, 870 Kootenai Cut-Off Road, Ponderay, ID 83852.

January 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | Page 56

From the Mouth of the River

Today (the day I write this) is our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. Can you believe that? You thought I’d forget, didn’t you? And I probably would have if it wasn’t written all over the calendar, the bathroom walls and on the refrigerator door. Well if I would have, it wouldn’t have been the first time that we both had forgotten it. I spent all of the last few anniversaries in Las Vegas doing the Cowboy Christmas Gift show during the National Finals Rodeo. This takes two weeks in which our anniversary is right in the middle of all that chaos. Even though we would talk to each other on the phone each night, the conversation consisted mostly on how much sales were made and what old friends had stopped by the booth to inquire about our health. One thing I found out for sure, if your anniversary falls in December, buying one gift to cover both it and Christmas just doesn’t work. This has brought heated arguments in the past in which I was corrected and that cost even more gifts to smooth over my having to be corrected. I bought her the DVD of The Christmas Story. And she bought me the DVD of How the Grinch Stole Christmas... the original Warner Brothers version, not the Jim Carey version! Not that Jim Carey isn’t a good actor, he just can’t do the Grinch justice. The illustrated version is much superior. These are the two movies we watch

several times during the holidays. The Christmas Story brings back our childhood memories of what Christmas was like when we both grew up in the Midwest. It’s so funny it brings tears to our eyes. Some of those tears may have come from just reminiscing. Now, each time we watch How the Grinch stole Christmas, I always root for the Grinch to keep all their gifts. But each year he gets sucker-punched by that snottynosed little girl, Cindy Lou Who. And he ends up giving all the gifts back. But wait,

there’s more. Look closely, All the Whos in Whoville are just as happy without their gifts! All the Whos in Whoville were in a big circle holding hands and singing and guess what? Christmas was coming with or without their gifts. Which confused the hell out of the Grinch. But like most male Grinches, the little blue-eyed blond girl got to messing with his mind and causing his heart to go bong, and like most men he fell off the mountain, taking the sleigh full of gifts with him and everyone in Whoville thought he was bringing the gifts back, when in fact, the Grinch was just clumsy. Every man, woman and child who sees this movie misses the point and its meaning. The Grinch was a thief; he stole everything in town that resembled Christmas, everything! Yet, when he fell off the mountain and dumped everything in the middle of town, everyone hailed him as a hero instead of what he really was—a thief. And, because he had eyes for little Cindy Lou Who, he could have been charged as a pervert, not to mention what he did to that poor dog! I’m telling you folks, this guy should have gotten twenty

years to life. But no, not in America, these people were so glad to get all their gifts and toys back, they invited him to dinner! And set him at the head of the table! Six, six years old, that’s the cut off date for Christmas gifts. No one over the age of six should receive gifts. That’s how Christmas was designed. At that early age a child was told to hang one of their stockings by the chimney with care, in hopes Saint Nicholas would soon be there. He didn’t always make it! But, if he did, when you awoke the next morning your stocking would be full of gifts for little girls and boys. Those gifts included a large handful of mixed nuts, un-shelled, a handful of hard candy which, by the way, if it was hung to close to the chimney would melt in your sock. That’s how the sugar titty and the Binky became popular. Little kids would go around for days sucking on their sock, trying to get the sweet taste of candy out. Besides, they couldn’t get that sticky sock on anyway. The stocking was then topped off with an orange and an apple. That was your Christmas. Then comes The Christmas Story. Children at that age become quite curious. Who is this Saint Nick? How did he get down the chimney? How did he get on the house? Where did he come from? But most of all, Why? And while you were setting around the hearth mashing your fingers with a hammer while trying to crack those nuts that’s when your mother or father would read, or tell you the Christmas story, the one about the birth of Christ and the magic of Saint Nick. Of course, where they went wrong was, they also came up with the tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny. When the kid figured out you were lying about all of those things, trying to convince them how that fat boy got down the chimney didn’t stand a chance. So this was Christmas, seventy years ago for me. Today, the Christmas story has no magic, no wonder, and no beliefs. It has just evolved down to Greed. From now on Santa will be Chinese and he will be delivering everyone’s gifts in a large motor home sponsored by Wal-Mart!

Boots Reynolds

Page 57 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 1 | January 2009

Janusz’s New Poster The view when riding a Schweitzer chairlift overlooking Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho, is one of those personal moments that become locked in your memory forever. The thrill, the beauty, the awe moment. There are few mountain ski resorts that offer such an inspiring look at nature in her grandest moment. Experiencing that oneness with nature while skiing Schweitzer Mountain over the years, artist Barbara Janusz felt deply moved to communicate her feelings by painting this


“A Winter View From Schweitzer” (each poster hand signed by the artist)

$20 16”x 20” $40 22” x 28”

(available framed or tube shipped anywhere in the U.S.) Now selling at: Artists’ Studio Gallery in Schweitzer Village 208.265.1776 Art Works Gallery, 214 No. First Ave. Sandpoint 208.263.2642 contact the artist: 208.290.1279

Can you SING like an angel? Can you DANCE like Fred or Ginger (or even Brittney)? Can you ACT like Al Pacino?

MINIMAL CLOTHING? Tryouts for the Angels Over Sandpoint’s 2009 FOLLIES will

Can can you do it all with

take place on January 13 & 20. No act will be booked without a tryout! Call 208.266.0508 to reserve your tryout time. This show is rated “R”—must be at least age 21 to participate. Performances take place on February 20 and 21.

The River Journal Jan. 2009  
The River Journal Jan. 2009  

January 2009 issue of the River Journal, a news magazine worth wading through